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Social Security Early Commencement Benefits

By: Elizabeth Bauer
Published: December 2019

A problem that many vulnerable older Americans face is the prospect of not being able to stay at the same job they have been doing, needing to cut back on hours due to physical strain, the need to take care of an older parent or ailing spouse, or lack of availability of sufficient hours at the type of job they are still able to undertake. As a result, with insufficient income to survive, these pre-full-retirement age workers have no choice but to claim Social Security benefits early, in many cases at the earliest possible age of 62, with substantial negative consequences for the rest of their lives.

The author proposes two small changes to the current Social Security structure which would enable participants to claim partial early benefits, deferring full benefit commencement to a later point, and permit early benefits to be stopped and started as and when the recipient requests, without any additional penalty.

Download the full policy proposal

This proposal was developed as part of the project, Enhancing Social Security and Improving Retirement SecuritySummaries of the four winning proposals are available here.