ERIC Number: EJ910472
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Earnings Sharing in the U.S. Social Security System: A Microsimulation Analysis of Future Female Retirees
Iams, Howard M.; Reznik, Gayle L.; Tamborini, Christopher R.
Gerontologist, v50 n4 p495-508 Aug 2010
Purpose: As part of an ongoing effort to analyze the distributional implications of potential policy reforms to the U.S. Social Security system, we consider the widely discussed reform of earnings sharing. Such an approach has been viewed as a way to "update" Social Security's family benefits based on marital status and as a means to make the system more marriage neutral. Design and Methods: We use the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term model to simulate the distributional effects of two earnings sharing alternatives, a basic option and a modified inheritance option, on the projected retiree population in 2030. We focus our analysis on uncovering how different subgroups of women would be affected under the alternative system. Results: Widows and surviving divorced women, particularly those in lower socioeconomic groups, would face some of the steepest benefit decreases. Adding an inheritance provision would mitigate reductions across the board; however, it may not provide as much benefit adequacy to widows as might be expected. Implication: Certain groups of women would fare far better under the current Social Security system than under earnings sharing. Linking benefits with earnings sharing would be particularly problematic for lower income widows and single-earner married couples. Never-married persons are unaffected.
Descriptors: Divorce, Marital Status, Income, Females, Retirement Benefits, Widowed, Low Income, Economically Disadvantaged, Socioeconomic Status, Federal Programs, Older Adults, Retirement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Social Security