News | 01.08.20
Alicia Munnell's Social Security Bridge v. Annuities Income Planning Smackdown
According to Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, more U.S. retirement savers should probably buy ordinary annuities before they retire, but they don't, and policymakers need to come up with an alternative. Munnell says she thinks promoting use of “Social Security bridge” arrangements may be the best solution. A Social Security bridge is a mechanism for helping retirees put off claiming Social Security benefits, by having retirees make regular withdrawals from retirement assets between the day they retire and the day they file for Social Security benefits. She notes that retirees can increase monthly benefits amounts by 76 percent if they begin collecting benefits at age 70, rather than at age 62. Munnell teamed up with two colleagues to publish an academic analysis of the Social Security bridge concept in October. Munnell and colleagues assume in the academic version of the Social Security bridge analysis that retirement savers could also consider buying annuities.
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