HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Editorials & Other Articles (Forum) » Yes, it's true: Older peo...

Mon Mar 26, 2018, 11:57 AM

Yes, it's true: Older people depend on Social Security

For decades, the Social Security Administration has put out reports showing the percentage of household income attributable to Social Security.

In recent years, some analysts have criticized the reliance of these estimates on data from the Current Population Survey, or CPS. Studies have shown that the CPS was underreporting income from both defined benefit and defined-contribution plans. To the extent that the survey underreports pension income, it will overstate the importance of Social Security. Candidly, due to this concern, I have shied away from using these statistics in the last couple of years.

Fortunately, three researchers from the Social Security Administration have produced a comprehensive study that clarifies the role of Social Security by drawing data from three separate household surveys. One survey is the CPS, which was substantially redesigned in 2014-2015 so that it now includes separate questions about retirement-income account withdrawals and distributions. Comparing the results of the redesigned CPS to earlier years shows that the prevalence and aggregate value of retirement income other than Social Security were about 50% and 22% higher, respectively.

The second survey is the Health and Retirement Study, or HRS, the most comprehensive longitudinal study for Americans ages 51 and older. The HRS can be linked to verifiable administrative information on Social Security benefits and provides comprehensive information on retirement plan account balances and distributions from defined-benefit plans.


2 replies, 1093 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply Yes, it's true: Older people depend on Social Security (Original post)
Zorro Mar 2018 OP
exboyfil Mar 2018 #1
dugog55 Mar 2018 #2

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2018, 12:10 PM

1. They could also get some idea

by what amount of federal income taxes collected on SS income.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Mon Mar 26, 2018, 01:17 PM

2. A little Social Security history

There were many factors which forced the US to create a "Social Security Program" similar to many offered in Europe. One main reason is the exodus of rural citizens to the cities. On a farm, the family grew their own food and were more or less self sufficient. In the late 30's for the first time in history, there were more people living in cities than on farms. The consequential cost of city living drove elderly people into poverty. In the mid-30's almost half of 65+ Americans were poverty stricken. With the advent of Social Security, that number dropped to 10% by the year 2000. It is estimated that without SS we would be back up to the 50% level.

Old age income is also only part of what the Program provides for its citizens. Helping families that have lost a parent, kids going to college, etc...


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread