The Reintroduction of the Social Security Statement and its Effect on Social Security Expectations, Retirement Savings, and Labor Supply across the Age Distribution

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Abstract

This paper examines how the 2014 reintroduction of the Social Security statement, staggered by every fifth birth year, affected American Life Panel respondents’ Social Security expectations, savings behavior, and labor supply. The rich panel design of the ALP allows for controls for prior Social Security knowledge and behavior, and a specialized module fielded to ALP respondents elicited recall of the Statement and use of alternate information. The majority of individuals who were sent a Statement recall receiving one, with high rates of nonrecall concentrated among younger respondents. Statement recipients and my Social Security account holders highly value the information therein for retirement planning. Recipients measurably increased their likelihood of expecting future benefits, especially disability benefits, and were less pessimistic about future cuts to the program. Recipients were more likely to work after receipt, especially younger workers, although those already working more than 40 hours per week decreased their hours worked on the intensive margin. There were no statistically significant effects on retirement savings, although additional research is required for estimating heterogeneous effects.

Citation

Armour, Philip. 2017. “The Reintroduction of the Social Security Statement and its Effect on Social Security Expectations, Retirement Savings, and Labor Supply across the Age Distribution.” Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Retirement Research Center (MRRC) Working Paper, WP 2017-373. http://mrrc.isr.umich.edu/wp373/

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Paper ID

WP 2017-373

Publication Type

Working Paper

Publication Year

2017