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Key Findings Details

Individuals’ Responses to Social Security Reform
Adeline Delavande and Susann Rohwedder
WP 2008-182

  • We analyze what people in their 50s and 60s say they would do if everyone’s Social Security benefits were cut by 30 percent. About a third report that they would only reduce spending, while another third report that they would both work longer and reduce spending.  About 9 percent would only consider working longer as a response to the cut in benefits.
  • Social Security claiming would be postponed by 1.13 years on average in response to the benefit cut. Working longer and claiming Social Security later would compensate partially for the loss in benefits. The average drop in benefits would be 20 rather than 30 percent.