Faculty Publications


Comparing the Impacts of Social Security Benefit Reductions on the Income Distribution of the Elderly

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Benefit reductions will likely be a part of the eventual Social Security reform in the United States. This research attempts to quantify the intragenerational and intergenerational impacts of different benefit reduction proposals on the incomes of the elderly. Reforms include across-the-board benefit cuts, price indexing, and reductions to the cost-of-living adjustment. Restoring the projected seventy-five year balance for the Trust Fund through benefit reductions will significantly lower benefits, though the impacts vary by type of reform. Nonetheless, the savings for the Social Security Trust Fund will exceed the accompanying increases in the poverty gap, leaving room to provide minimal income guarantees.