From today’s Denver Post and other newspapers:
Raising the retirement age for Social Security would disproportionately hurt low-income workers and minorities, and increase disability claims by older people unable to work, government auditors told Congress.
The projected spike in disability claims could harm Social Security’s finances because disability benefits typically are higher than early-retirement payments, the Government Accountability Office concluded.
“There’s more to consider than simply how much money the program would save by raising the retirement age,” said Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. The report shows an unequal effect on certain groups of people, he said Thursday, and many of them “would have little choice but to turn to the broken disability program.”
Under current law, people can start drawing reduced, early-retirement benefits from Social Security at age 62. Full benefits are available at 66, a threshold gradually increasing to 67 for people who were born in 1960 or later.
AARP criticized the recommendations and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called them “unacceptable.”
Experts, however, warn that Social Security is on a financially unsustainable path that will worsen as people live longer and collect more benefits.
25% cite health woes
For many workers, reducing early-retirement payments or delaying eligibility would provide an incentive to put off retiring, resulting in more earnings and potentially more savings for later in life, according to the watchdog agency’s report.
Read more: GAO: Older workers’ disability claims would spike if retirement age raised – The Denver Post