Social Security Dependence: What Does the Future Hold?

Forbes contributor Andrew Biggs, American Enterprise Institute resident scholar and former Social Security Administration deputy commissioner, takes a look at research conclusions that dependency on Social Security benefits will rise for future retirees. Biggs brings into his discussion several often overlooked statistical nuances that tend to change this argument, beginning with the Census Bureau’s conclusion that “the incomes retirees receive from private plans are increasing over time.” His second point is “… that retirees’ potential incomes – that is, the amount they could spend by drawing down their assets – is often higher than their actual incomes upon which Social Security dependence is calculated.”

While the level of dependency on Social Security benefits for future retirees is a matter of conjecture, Biggs suggests that popular government statistics tend to sidestep the fact that the impact of private retirement plans point toward a lessening of this dependency. He cites this trend as positive, certainly given the lack of progress in addressing Social Security’s well-publicized long-term funding shortfall. Read Biggs’ post here…


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