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Social Security Reform: Rethinking Retirement-Age Policy--A Look At Raising Social Security's Retirement Age

This issue brief by Sara E. Rix of AARP's Public Policy Institute discusses the implications for workers and employers of raising the age of eligibility for full Social Security retired worker benefits. It provides an overview of 20th century trends and retirement expectations, discusses various proposals to raise the retirement age, examines health and productivity issues associated with extending working life, and considers both worker and employer enthusiasm for raising the retirement age. The paper concludes that while there may be few objections to increasing employment opportunities for older men and women, and while a high proportion of the population may be physically capable of working longer than they do today, before the normal retirement age is raised further, more substantive assessments of its potential impact seem called for. (24 pages)

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