Oregon Law Review : Vol. 89, No. 4, p. 1179-1256 : Social Security Reform: Should the Retirement Age Be Increased?
Templin, Benjamin A.
This Article reassesses the policy option of increasing the retirement age, considering recently published studies on longevity, capacity to work, labor force participation, and poverty rates. Additionally, the Article considers recent work in behavioral economics in order to craft policy initiatives that result in a secure retirement. Part I of this Article analyzes the funding crisis facing Social Security and puts it into the context of the larger budget challenges facing the federal government. Part II discusses the history of retirement age provisions in the Social Security Act and presents a descriptive analysis of the current law. Part III considers the main arguments—pro and con—concerning the retirement age as well as an analysis of values that should guide reform. The extent to which the Social Security deficit is affected by various proposals is discussed in Part IV, and Part V analyzes the economic effects on workers. Employment trends and ability to work are analyzed in Parts VI and VII, respectively. Last, policy recommendations are made in Part VIII.