A Progressivity Index for Social Security

Issue Paper No. 2009-01, January 2009

20 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2009

See all articles by Andrew G. Biggs

Andrew G. Biggs

American Enterprise Institute

Mark Sarney

Social Security Administration

Christopher R. Tamborini

U.S. Social Security Administration

Date Written: January 9, 2009

Abstract

Using the Social Security Administration's MINT (Modeling Income in the Near Term) model, this paper analyzes the progressivity of the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program for current and future retirees. It uses a progressivity index that provides a summary measure of the distribution of taxes and benefits on a lifetime basis. Results indicate that OASDI lies roughly halfway between a flat replacement rate and a flat dollar benefit for current retirees. Projections suggest that progressivity will remain relatively similar for future retirees. In addition, the paper estimates the effects of several policy changes on progressivity for future retirees.

Keywords: modeling, MINT, retirees, retirement income, progressivity index, OASDI

JEL Classification: H1

Suggested Citation

Biggs, Andrew G. and Sarney, Mark and Tamborini, Christopher R., A Progressivity Index for Social Security (January 9, 2009). Issue Paper No. 2009-01, January 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1339904

Andrew G. Biggs

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

1150 17th Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-862-5841 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.aei.org

Mark Sarney (Contact Author)

Social Security Administration ( email )

500 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20254
United States
202 358-6295 (Phone)

Christopher R. Tamborini

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

500 E. Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20254
United States
202.358.6109 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/

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