Misleading social security headlines could cost retirees a fortune | Business

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When news broke last month that Social Security funds would be low sooner than expected, the news spread like wildfire. Fears that the program is running out of money may lead some people to make the wrong retirement decision, a new survey suggests.

Alarmist media coverage of Social Security funding shortfalls – as numerous headlines around the annual trustees report released last month show – is influencing people to say they will claim benefits sooner, which would definitely reduce the amount. of their monthly checks, according to a study released this week by Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research.

The study found that the scarcity of framing of certain Social Security titles made readers nervous, and they subsequently made poorer decisions about when to claim Social Security. When the Treasury Department announced that Social Security trust fund reserves would be depleted a year earlier due to the pandemic, officials made it clear they would still be able to pay 76% of current benefits. Plus, Congress could still act to replenish the fund before the deficit begins in 2034, and many experts believe lawmakers will. Yet many headlines have focused solely on the depletion of trust funds, using scary words like “insolvency.”


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