Focus on Social Security and Retirement

Focus on Social Security and Retirement

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In an October 25 study, economist Andrew Biggs endorses an increase in the early retirement age from 62 to 65.  He finds that it would improve the Social Security Trust Fund, provide larger benefits at retirement, and increase economic growth. (Note: I published a column on this topic in The Fiscal Times on September 10.)

Also on October 25, the American Academy of Actuaries send a letter to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform urging that the retirement age be raised to keep pace with rising longevity.

On October 22, the Congressional Budget Office published new estimates of Social Security’s long-term finances.

On October 19, the Employee Benefit Research Institute published a survey showing that an overwhelming majority of people oppose raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 68. (Note: the eligibility age to qualify for Social Security is now 66 and is rising to 67, but the age to qualify for Medicare will remain at 65.)

Also on October 19, Sun Life Financial published a survey showing that 80 percent of Americans believe they will need three years to rebuild retirement savings that were depleted by the economic crisis. They also believe that they will have to work at least three years longer than they had anticipated.

An October 18 analysis by the Social Security Administration examined the distributional effects of several proposals that have been put forward to stabilize Social Security’s finances.

On October 7, the Employee Benefit Research Institute released a study showing that Americans collectively have $4.6 trillion less saving than they need for an adequate retirement.

Also on October 7, Standard and Poor’s published an extensive report on global aging and its implications for government budgets. TFT’s Michael Hodin commented on October 8.

I last posted items on this topic on October 6.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He blogs daily and writes a weekly column at The Fiscal Times. Read his most recent column here. Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House. He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.