Exchanging Delayed Social Security Benefits for Lump Sums: Could this Incentivize Longer Work Careers?

34 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2013

See all articles by Jingjing Chai

Jingjing Chai

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance

Raimond Maurer

Goethe University Frankfurt - Finance Department

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ralph Rogalla

St. John's University - Tobin College of Business - School of Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science; Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1, 2012

Abstract

Social Security benefits are currently provided as a lifelong benefit stream, though some workers would be willing to trade a portion of their annuity streams in exchange for a lump sum amount. This paper explores whether allowing people to receive a lump sum as a payment for delayed retirement rather than as an addition to their lifetime Social Security benefits might induce them to work longer. We model the factors that influence how people trade off a Social Security stream for a lump sum, and we also examine the consequences of such tradeoffs for work, retirement, and life cycle wellbeing. Our base case indicates that workers given the chance to receive their delayed retirement credit as a lump sum payment would boost their average retirement age by l.5-2 years. This will interest policymakers seeking to reform the Social Security system without raising costs or cutting benefits, while enhancing the incentives to delay retirement.

Keywords: Social Security, retirement age, lump sum pension

Suggested Citation

Chai, Jingjing and Maurer, Raimond and Mitchell, Olivia S. and Rogalla, Ralph, Exchanging Delayed Social Security Benefits for Lump Sums: Could this Incentivize Longer Work Careers? (October 1, 2012). Michigan Retirement Research Center Research Paper No. 2012-266. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2239775 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2239775

Jingjing Chai (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance ( email )

House of Finance
Grueneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60323
Germany

Raimond Maurer

Goethe University Frankfurt - Finance Department ( email )

Gr├╝neburgplatz 1
House of Finance
Frankfurt, 60323
Germany

Olivia S. Mitchell

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ralph Rogalla

St. John's University - Tobin College of Business - School of Risk Management, Insurance, and Actuarial Science ( email )

101 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003
United States

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Finance ( email )

House of Finance
Grueneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, Hessen 60323
Germany

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