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Soc Secur Bull. 2012;72(4):37-46.

Mind the gap: the distributional effects of raising the early eligibility age and full retirement age.

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Office of Retirement Policy, Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, Social Security Administration, USA.


Policymakers have proposed increases to the early eligibility age (EEA) and/or full retirement age (FRA) to address increasing life expectancy and Social Security solvency issues. This analysis uses the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term, version 6 (MINT6) model to compare three retirement-age increases suggested by the Social Security Advisory Board: increase the gap between the EEA and FRA by raising only the FRA, increase both the EEA and FRA to maintain a 4-year gap between them, and increase both the EEA and FRA to maintain a 5-year gap between them. Although all three options would improve system solvency by similar proportions, their effect on individual beneficiaries in the future would vary. Benefit reductions are greater under the proposals with more months between the EEA and FRA, while the option that maintains a 4-year gap results in benefit increases for some beneficiaries compared with current law.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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