"Alicia H. Munnell is the Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences, Carroll School of Management and Director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. She has served as assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy and as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers... Munnell has written several books, including Working Longer: The Solution to the Retirement Income Challenge and State and Local Pensions: What Now?"
- 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.