Should a Lump-Sum Payment Replace Social Security’s Delayed Retirement Credit?

Peter R. Orszag

IB#6

Introduction

Transforming Social Security’s delayed retirement credit into a lump-sum payment rather than an increased monthly payment would likely encourage more workers to defer retirement and benefit claiming. The idea is thus worthy of further exploration. Several important design issues, however, must be addressed before policymakers give serious consideration to the reform. The most problematic aspect of the proposal is that implementing a lump-sum payment system for individuals older than the normal retirement age may create political pressure to extend this approach to those who are younger than the normal retirement age. Such an extension would risk a significant increase in elderly poverty rates relative to the current Social Security system…