Research & Analysis by Cori E. Uccello
This article assesses the prospects for retirement security among Social Security beneficiaries in 2022 and 2062. In absolute terms, beneficiaries in 2062 will be better off than those in 2022, at least assuming Social Security benefits scheduled under current law. Relative measures of well-being, however, suggest a decline in well-being between 2022 and 2062. Projected improvements over time would lessen, and declines would be exacerbated, if Social Security benefits are reduced according to what is payable under current-law taxes.
Issues addressed in this article include the adequacy of household retirement saving, controlling for lifetime earnings levels and uncertainty, and the examination of the role of Social Security in bolstering financial security. The authors show that reductions in Social Security benefits could have significant deleterious effects on the adequacy of saving, especially among low-income households. They also show that, controlling for lifetime earnings, households with high current earnings tend to save far more adequately than do other households.