Reports that the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted sometime in the early part of the next century reinforce the need to make retirement policy in the United States more accommodating for those who want to work. While there is general agreement that disincentives to work at older ages in both Social Security and employer pension plans played an important role in the dramatic drop in retirement age from 1945 through 1985, skepticism exists over the ability of policy changes to both stop this trend and increase work at older ages. In this policy brief we summarize how government policy has influenced retirement since the end of World War II, show that reductions in some of the anti-work aspects of our retirement system in the 1980s appear to have ended the trend toward earlier and earlier retirement, and offer five pro-work policies which would increase work for twenty-first century older Americans.

Document Type

Policy Brief




Geriatrics, retirement security, Social Security Trust Fund, Social Security policy




Reports Series


Retirement Security Law


Metedata from RePec

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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