A Contrary View on Raising the Retirement Age

A Contrary View on Raising the Retirement Age

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Henry Aaron provides valuable clarity in Capital Exchange today about what "raising the retirement age" really means -- a benefit cut.
But at least in his first installment, I think he dodges the key issue: people ARE living longer. Why shouldn’t Social Security reflect some of that?

Aaron says most people start to claim benefits at the earliest possible age, 62, despite the promise of higher benefits if they wait till 66. So raising the "full" retirement age to 67 wouldn't make such a big difference. But at the risk of sounding cold-hearted, why would it be wrong to gradually raise the ages for both early and "full" eligibility?

Yes, people in physically demanding jobs may not be able to wait. So Social Security outlays for disability insurance (the "DI" in OASDI) could or should go up. But growing numbers also work until an older age because they can do it and want to. Shouldn't Social Security  reflect that?

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