The brief’s key findings are:
- Due to increases in Social Security’s Delayed Retirement Credit, the effective retirement age is now 70, with monthly benefits reduced for earlier claiming.
- Benefit levels at 70 appear appropriate given that rising deductions for Medicare and greater benefit taxation have reduced Social Security’s net replacement rates.
- The shift to 70 should be feasible for many workers given increases in lifespans, health, and education.
- But vulnerable workers forced to claim early will have low benefits and will be particularly harmed by any further cuts.
- Policymakers need to inform those who can work that 70 is the new retirement age and devise ways to protect those who cannot work.