Employment at Older Ages and Social Security Benefit Claiming, 1980–2018

Research and Statistics Note 2020-01

19 Pages Posted: 12 May 2020

Date Written: April 14, 2020


A retired worker’s Social Security benefit depends in part on the age at which he or she claims benefits. Working longer and claiming benefits later increase the monthly benefit. Information about trends in employment at older ages and the age at which individuals claim Social Security benefits can help policymakers assess the effectiveness of current policies in influencing the timing of retirement and benefit claims. Both the labor force participation rate (LFPR) among older Americans and the age at which they claim Social Security retirement benefits have risen in recent years. For example, from 2000 through 2018, the LFPR among individuals aged 65–69 rose from 30 percent to 38 percent for men and from 19 percent to 29 percent for women. Since 2000, the proportion of fully insured men and women who claim retirement benefits at the earliest eligibility age of 62 has declined substantially.

Keywords: Social Security, Retirement, Aging, Elderly, Income, Pensions

JEL Classification: H55, J14

Suggested Citation

Purcell, Patrick J., Employment at Older Ages and Social Security Benefit Claiming, 1980–2018 (April 14, 2020). Research and Statistics Note 2020-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3578518.

Patrick J. Purcell (Contact Author)

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States
202-358-6348 (Phone)

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