How Sticky is Retirement Behavior in the U.S.? Responses to Changes in the Full Retirement Age
29 Pages Posted: 18 May 2020 Last revised: 17 Apr 2023
Date Written: May 2020
We study how increases in the Social Security full retirement age (FRA) affect benefit claiming and retirement behavior, and specifically the interaction between these two choices. Using Social Security administrative data, we implement complementary research designs of a traditional cohort analysis and a regression-discontinuity design. We find that while increases in the FRA strongly and immediately shift claiming ages, retirement ages exhibit persistent "stickiness" at the old FRA of 65. We use several strategies to explore the likely mechanisms behind the stickiness in retirement, and we find suggestive evidence of a role for employers in individuals' responses to the FRA.
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