Early claiming of higher-earning husbands, the survivor benefit, and the incidence of poverty among recent widows

Jeffrey Diebold, Jeremy Moulton, John Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Social Security provides survivor benefits to lower-earning spouses of deceased workers entitled to a retirement benefit. The value of the survivor benefit depends on a number of factors including the deceased worker's claim age. We use the Health and Retirement Study and a discrete time hazard model to analyze how the claim age of married men influences the likelihood that their spouse will enter poverty in widowhood. We find that delayed claiming is associated with reduction in a widow's poverty risk. The magnitude of this relationship varies significantly with the claim age, Social Security dependence, and survivor benefit dependence.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages485-508
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Pension Economics and Finance
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Fingerprint

Poverty
Survivors
Workers
Social security
Spouses
Widowhood
Factors
Retirement
Health and Retirement Study
Hazard models
Discrete-time

Keywords

  • Claiming behavior
  • Social Security
  • Survivor benefit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this

Early claiming of higher-earning husbands, the survivor benefit, and the incidence of poverty among recent widows. / Diebold, Jeffrey; Moulton, Jeremy; Scott, John.

In: Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Vol. 16, No. 4, 01.10.2017, p. 485-508.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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