New Social Security Claims Trending Downward

After hitting a record high in 2009, new social-security claims have fallen the past two years. In 2009, 3.2 million Americans over the age of 62 began collecting social security. In 2010, that number fell to 3.1 million and last year it dropped to 3 million. The downward trend in social-security claimants is partly due to a stronger economic environment and labor market, along with the incentive to delay claiming to boost benefits. The analysis, from the Urban Institute, found that 31 percent of eligible people registered for social security in 2009 and, by 2011, that percentage dropped to 26.9 percent. Richard Johnson, a senior fellow and director of retirement policy for the Urban Institute, wrote in the report that the trend toward delayed claiming that began around 2000 seems to have resumed after a spike in claimants during the recent recession. More here.

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