Distribution of Income Sources of Recent Retirees: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey

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1 Distribution of Income Sources of Recent Retirees: Findings From the New Beneficiary Survey by Linda Drazga Maxfied and Virginia P. Rena* Using data from the New Beneficiary Survey, this artice examines income received by the newy retired from assets, empoyer-provided pensions, and socia security. Today s retirees commony possess pension or asset income to suppement socia security. The proportions with asset income were 83 percent for married men and their wives and 69 percent for the unmarried. The proportions with pension income were 56 percent for the married coupes and 42 percent for the unmarried. The artice finds that up through the midde of the income distribution, socia security remains the main income component. In addition to these traditiona income sources of the retired, the data aso highight the important roe of earnings among many of the new beneficiaries-44 percent of the married coupes and 27 percent of the unmarried had current earnings. Socia security benefits are not intended to be the soe source of income at retirement. It is expected that other sources of income-in particuar, income from assets accumuated over the worker s ifetime and suppementa pensions provided by the empoyer-wi be avaiabe to individuas eaving the workpace after a career of empoyment. The idea of saving to provide income in retirement is a famiiar one. Historicay, however, the distribution of asset income among the aged has been quite skewed. Because earier cohorts, now setted into retirement, spent a substantia portion of their workife during the economic upheava of the 1930 s, such an unequa asset income distribution is not surprising. What is of interest is how the more recent retirees, who entered young aduthood after the Great Depression and who were in their 30 s, 40 s, and 50 s during the more prosperous and stabe decades of the 1950 s, 1960 s, and eary 1970 s, have accumuated asset hodings for retirement. Of even greater import is the spread by the 1950 s of empoyer-provided pensions as an additiona source of income during retirement. Even in the past decade the *Program Anaysis Staff, Office of Research, Statistics, and Internationa Poicy, Office of Poicy, Socia Security Administration (SSA). The New Beneficiary Survey was conducted for SSA under contract with the Institute for Survey Research at Tempe University in Phiadephia, PA, with Linda Drazga Maxfied as SSA s project director. This artice is based on a paper presented by the authors at the Sixth Annua Research Conference of the Association for Pubic Poicy Anaysis and Management, hed in New Oreans on October 18-20, rate of pension receipt among new socia security retired-worker beneficiaries has dramaticay increased. Between 1970 and 1982, the proportion of retired-worker beneficiaries receiving either private or pubic empoyee pensions rose from 25 percent to 42 percent for the unmarried, and among the married, from 42 percent to 53 percent for men and from 12 percent to 24 percent for women. Pensions and retirement poicy in the private sector have received significant egisative attention over the past decade. For exampe, the Empoyee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 was designed to safeguard empoyee pension rights. The 1978 Amendments to the Age Discrimination in Empoyment Act generay ban mandatory retirement in the private sector before age 70. Aso, the Retirement Equity Act of 1984 aims to extend pension protection to surviving spouses and former spouses of pension-eigibe workers. The popuar idea of the three tiers of retirement income underscores the concept of socia security, pension, and asset income working together to provide retirement income for the aged popuation of the United States. The anaysis provided here examines the nature and structure of the sources of income received by individuas who have newy entered the retirement state. t The source for the 1970 data is Aan Fox, Income of New Beneficiaries by Age at Entitement to Benefits, in Reaching Retirement Age: Findings From a Survey of Newy Entited Workers, (Research Report No. 47), Office of Research and Statistics, Socia Security Administration, 1976, tabe 8.1, page 97. Data for 1982 are for individua retired workers in the New Beneficiary Survey. Socia Security Buetin, January 1985/Vo. 48, No. 1 7

2 The purpose of this artice is to determine, given the economic, empoyment, and egisative changes of the past decade, how these tiers of retirement income for today s retirees are supported by the combination of socia security, pension, and asset income. It examines the extent to which recent retirees do, in fact, have pensions or asset income to suppement socia security benefits, and whether they receive significant eves of income from those suppementa sources. Finay, the artice puts the reative roes of socia security, pensions, and asset income in perspective by investigating how each source contributes to the income profie of new socia security beneficiaries. For the purposes of this anaysis, retirement is defined as the acceptance of socia security retired-worker benefits at age 62 or oder by a worker who is fuy insured under the program based on his or her own work record. In the socia security program, fu benefits are payabe to retired workers at age 65, athough actuariay reduced benefits are payabe at age 62.2 The universe studied in this anaysis incudes a retired-worker beneficiaries who received a first benefit payment at age 62 or oder in June 1980-May The first section of &he artice describes the 1982 New Beneficiary Survey, from which the data for this anaysis are taken. The second presents a discussion of the major retirement income sources and the amounts of income they provide to newy retired beneficiaries. The artice concudes with a summary of findings and directions for further research. The New Beneficiary Survey The data in this anaysis are taken from the Socia Security Administration s (SSA s) 1982 New Beneficiary Survey (NBS). This nationa, cross-sectiona survey was fieded from October through December 1982 using a sampe drawn from SSA s master beneficiary record. The representative sampe consists of 18,599 noninstitutionaized persons. The new beneficiaries first entered payment status during the 12-month period extending from mid-1980 to mid The tota survey sampe is divided into four categories: (1) retired workers, (2) disabed workers, (3) women who first received benefits as wives or divorced wives of retired workers or as widows or surviving divorced wives of insured workers, and (4) workers aged 65 or oder who were eigibe for, but who had not yet caimed, cash benefits (the Medicare-ony subsampe). The respondents incuded in this anaysis were drawn z Benefits caimed before age 65 are actuariay reduced by 5/9 of 1 Percent for each month benefits are received before the month of the 65th birthday. For exampe, a retired worker caiming benefits in the month of his or her 62nd birthday has the fu benefit payment reduced by 20 percent (36 months times 5/9 of 1 percent equas 20 percent). excusivey from the retired-worker sampe category.3 The interviews occurred in ate 1982, about months after the respondents first received socia security benefits. The questionnaire data, therefore, represent the circumstances in which beneficiaries found themseves after a retirement adjustment period of approximatey 2 years on the benefit ros. The NBS coected information on the new beneficiaries 30-year empoyment history, work characteristics (incuding pension coverage and eigibiity) from seected jobs, sef-assessments of heath, marita and chidrearing histories, income sources and amounts, and asset hodings and income from assets. Monthy income was determined separatey for respondents and their spouses for a reference period spanning each of 3 months. Asset questions were used to coect information on both the vaue of asset hodings and the amount of income derived in the preceding month from the asset. The survey made no attempt to separate the asset hodings and asset income hed separatey by husbands and wives. Income Sources and Amounts The main components of retirement income that suppement socia security benefits are monthy pensions provided by former empoyers, and income from savings and assets acccumuated over the working ife. In addition, new beneficiaries may continue to work and suppement their retirement income with earnings. Tabe 1 summarizes the extent to which these sources of income were received by retired coupes (defined here as married mae retired workers and their wives 4, and by unmarried mae and femae retired workers. Prevaence of Sources Amost a (97-98 percent) the newy retired beneficiaries were sti receiving socia security benefits when they were interviewed. Ony about haf the wives of the married men were receiving benefits. This ow eve of socia security receipt is not surprising. The wife of a retired worker must be at east 62 years of age to receive either a retired-worker benefit on her own account or an 3 For a fu description of the design and sampe of the New Beneficiary Survey, see Linda Drazga Maxfied, The 1982 New Beneficiary Survey: An Introduction, Socia Security Buetin, November 1983, pages The sampe design of the New Beneficiary Survey aows aternative ways to define coupes. The married men and their wives represent coupes in which the husband first received benefits between mid-1980 and mid The wife may have first received benefits at the same time, or before or after her husband, or she may not have been recciving benefits by the time of the survey. Aternativey, coupes coud be defined as the married women and their husbands. In this case, the wife woud have first received benefits between mid-1980 and mid and the husband may have caimed benefits before or after the samping period, or may not have yet received benefits by the time of the survey. 8 Socia Security Buetin, January 1985/Vo. 48, No. 1

3 Tabe.-Sources of 1982 income during the 3 months preceding interview for persons who first received retired-worker benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Married men and Unmarried their wives beneficiaries COU- HUS- Income source pies bands Wives Tota Men omen Tota number (in thousands) Percent receiving income from- Socia security Pensions Private Pubic.. _ b b.5 Assets I_ 83.8 (2) 12) Earnings Other source (4) (4) Wefare. 2.0 (4) (4) t Incudes receipt of income from at east one of the foowing: money market accounts, certificates of deposit, A Saver s certificates, checking or savings accounts, credit union accounts, stocks, bonds, annuities, IRA or Keogh pans, income from renta property or roomers, oan repayments, and estate, trust, or royaty income. 2 Data were coected for the combined asset hodings and income of coupes. 3 Incudes receipt of at east one of the foowing: veterans pensions or compensation, workers compensation, unempoyment insurance, back ung benefits, contributions from others within or outside of the househod, and wefare (suppementa security income, aid to famiies with dependent chidren, and food stamps). 4 Not tabuated separatey. aged wife s benefit on her retired husband s account. Of the wives who were not receiving benefits, 73 percent were under age 62 and therefore not age-eigibe to receive socia security benefits. It was not expected that a respondents woud be receiving socia security. Benefits may cease for a time if, for exampe, a beneficiary returns to work, or continues to work and has earnings that exceed the exempt amounts under the earnings test of the socia security program. In fact, continued empoyment was fairy common among the retired workers: 27 percent of the unmarried beneficiaries and 44 percent of the married coupes reported income from earnings. Among married beneficiaries, wives and husbands were equay ikey to report earnings (approximatey 27 percent each). Monthy pensions from either pubic or private empoyment were received by 53 percent of the married men and 42 percent of the unmarried beneficiaries. The women in the married coupes were not ikey to have pension income (ony 10 percent did so), athough, among the unmarried, women were sighty more ikey than men to have such income. Some form of asset income was received by a majority of the retired workers-84 percent of the coupes, 73 percent of the unmarried women, and 63 percent of the unmarried men. Interest on savings accounts was the most common source of asset income, with interest on other forms of financia assets (such as money market accounts, certificates of deposit, credit union accounts, and checking accounts) aso quite commony received. The most common component of the other income category was veterans pensions or compensation, which was received by 8-10 percent of the men. Meanstested payments were received by 2 percent of the coupes and 7 percent of the unmarried beneficiaries. Food stamps were the most common of the meanstested payments, with 1 percent of the coupes and approximatey 4 percent of the unmarried beneficiaries reporting receipt. Income Amountsby Source The tota income of retired-worker beneficiaries depends not ony on whether they receive income from sources other than socia security, but aso on the amount of income those sources provide. Asset income, for exampe, may contribute modesty to tota income when it comes from interest on sma savings accounts or it may represent substantia investment income from a arge portfoio of asset hodings. Simiar variations are possibe for pension income (depending on the retiree s former saary, ength of service, and the empoyer pan provisions) and earnings (depending on the hours worked and saary of the current job). This section examines the amounts of tota income the new beneficiaries received and the amounts from each of the main components of income: socia security, earnings, pensions, and assets. For the anaysis, married coupes are shown separatey from the unmarried because the coupes income incudes income received by both the husband and the wife. Tota income. The median tota monthy income received by the new retired-worker beneficiaries in ate 1982 was $1,5 11 for the coupes and $775 for the unmarried men and women (tabe 2). The mean incomes for these groups were consideraby higher-just under $2,000 for the coupes and just over $1,000 for the unmarried. The fact that the median is ower than the mean indicates that most new beneficiaries were cus- Tabe 2.-Tota 1982 monthy income, and mean and percentie amount by marita status: Persons who first received retired-worker benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Married men Unmarried Tota income measures and their wives men and women Mean amount. $1,956 $1,024 Median amount 1,511 77s Percentie income eves: 5th th...._...,,,..,, th...._......,.,. 1,065 47s 75th....._._.....,,,.. 2,218 1,187 90th ,.._ 3,376 1,775 95th , 4,616 2,471 Socia Security Buetin, January 1985/Vo. 48, No. 1 9

4 tered at income eves beow the mean, whie a minority had incomes we above the mean. In fact, the mean incomes were coser to the 75th than the 50th percenties of the income distributions for both the coupes and the unmarried. The high incomes of those near the top of the income distribution tend to raise the mean amount. Those in the top 5 percent of the income distributions, for exampe, had monthy incomes of more than $4,600 among the coupes and more than $2,400 among the unmarried-eves that are more than three times as high as the median incomes of the new beneficiaries. In genera, the income distribution for coupes was about twice as high as that of the unmarried retired workers. This occurred for severa reasons. First, as noted in the preceding section, the coupes were more ikey than the unmarried to receive earnings, pensions, or asset income in addition to socia security. Second, coupes tended to receive higher amounts from these sources as we as from socia security-in part because both the husband and wife may receive income from the source. Finay, married men, individuay, tended to have higher incomes from socia security and pensions than did the unmarried. Socia security income. For coupes, both the mean and the median monthy socia security income reported in the survey was about $500 when ony the husband was receiving benefits and was about $835 when both the husband and wife received benefits (tabe 3). The unmarried men and women, in contrast, had median benefit incomes of $421, somewhat ess than the married men, individuay, received. The median and mean amounts of socia security income were very simiar, indicating few extremey high or ow vaues in the distribution of socia security benefit amounts. This is not surprising, given the structure of the socia security benefit formua. The formua is weighted to repace a arger share of past earnings for retirees with ow than with high average ifetime earnings, and this feature tends to imit the number of cases with very ow benefits. Aso, earnings above a specified maximum are neither subject to socia security payro taxes nor counted in computing the earnings to be repaced by socia security benefits. This imit on the earnings to be repaced, in conjunction with the weighted benefit formua, paces a maximum on the benefits payabe. Earnings. Just over one-fourth (27 percent) of the unmarried retired workers had earnings, and their median income from earnings was $392. Their median monthy earnings were cose to the exempt amounts under the socia security earnings test ($370 for those under age 65 and $500 for those aged in 1982).5 5 The earnings test is administered on an annua basis. In 1982, the annua earnings exempt amounts were $4,440 for persons under age 65 and $6,000 for those aged At age 72 the earning test no onger appied. The monthy earnings amounts shown are /12 of the annua exempt amounts and therefore represent monthy earnings that, if earned steadiy throughout the year, woud equa the exempt amounts. Tabe 3.-Mean and median 1982 monthy income from major sources, by marita status and spouse receipt: Persons who first received retired-worker benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Income source Amount for recipients Percent receiving Mean Median Married men and their wives Socia security, tota $67 1 $646 Ony husband receives Both receive Ony wife receives Earnings, tota Ony husband receives Both receive 9.9 1,613 I.054 Ony wife receives Pensions, tota Ony husband receives Both receive Ony wife receives, Asset income Unmarried men and women Socia security 97.0 $432 $42 I Earnings Pensions Asset income Earnings for the unmarried were custered around these amounts (tabe 3). Haf the working unmarried beneficiaries had earnings between $240 and $620 a month (the 25th and 75th percenties of the earnings distribution). A few of the unmarried workers had consideraby higher earnings. Those in the top 10 percent of the earnings distribution for the unmarried earned $1,100 a month or more, and those in the top 5 percent earned $1,500 or more (tabe 4). Those in the top 10 percent of the earnings distribution represent about 2.7 percent of a the unmarried new retired-worker beneficiaries. For coupes, the median amount of earnings was highest when both the husband and wife worked ($1,054) and was next highest when ony the wife worked ($666). When ony the husband had earnings, the median earnings were $418 (tabe 3). The somewhat higher median earnings for the wives than for the husbands refect the fact that just over haf (54 percent) of the wives in coupes with earnings were under age 62 and therefore were too young to be retired under socia security. The median earnings when ony the husband worked were cose to the exempt amount under the earnings test and were ony sighty higher than those of the unmarried men and women. The earnings distribution of the coupes custered in a somewhat broader range than that of the unmarried persons. Haf the working coupes earned between $325 and $1,130-the 25th and 75th percenties of the earnings distribution of coupes (tabe 4). Coupes in the top 5 percent of the earnings distribution had earnings of 10 Socia Security Buetin, January 1985/Vo. 48, No. 1

5 Tabe 4.-Mean and percentie amounts of monthy 1982 income from major sources, by marita status: Persons who first received retired-worker benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Distribution Socia Asset security Earnings Pensions income Married men and their wives Percent receiving Amounts for recipients: Mean... %67 I $972 $656 $539 Median,_._ Percentie eves: 5th IOth h h , th... 1,065 1,800 1,375 1,211 95h... 1,133 2,650 1,892 2,091 Unmarried men and women Percent receiving Amounrs for recipients: Mean... $432 $588 $426 $299 Median Percentie eves: 5th IOth th th th , th ,500 I.230 1,159 $2,650 a month or more. They represent about 2.2 percent of new retired-worker married men and their wives. Pensions. Monthy income from private or pubic empoyee pensions varied more widey than did socia security benefit income. This is expected given the diversity of the empoyee pension system in the United States. There are more than one-haf miion different private pension pans and 6,000 different pans for government empoyees at the oca, State, or Federa eves of government.6 Each pan can deveop its own formua for determining pension amounts. In addition, some pension pan formuas are integrated with socia security so as to offset, in part, the weighted socia security benefit formua in favor of ow earners. Integrated pans are designed to pay a somewhat higher repacement of earnings to high than ow earners, who receive higher eves of earnings repacement from socia security.7 6 The number of private pension pans is based on unpubished counts by the Department of Labor, based on form 5500 and 5500~ reports for The estimate of the number of pubic empoyee pans is from The Desirabiity and Feasibiity of Socia Security Coverage for Empoyees of Federa, State, and Loca Governments and Private, Nonprofit Organizations: Report of The Universa Socia Security Coverage Study Group, Department of Heath, Education, and Wefare, March 1980, pages Donad Be and Diane Hi, How Socia Security Payments Affect Private Pensions, Monthy Labor Review, May 1984, pages For the 56 percent of coupes who had pension income, the median monthy amount was $490. In most cases, ony the husband had pension income and for those coupes the median amount was $471. For the 7 percent of coupes in which both the husband and wife had pensions, the median monthy income was $757. For the unmarried, median pension income was consideraby ower than that for married men, individuay, in arge part because of ow pensions received by the unmarried women. The overa median pension income for the unmarried was $291, but it was $400 for the men and $253 for the women. For most other major sources of income the median amounts were ony sighty ower for the unmarried women than for the unmarried men, as shown beow: Source of income Men Women Median monthy income from: A sources... Socia security.... Earnings.... Pensions.... Assets.... Other sources... Unmarried retired workers $777 $ Athough the unmarried women were as ikey as the unmarried men to have earned pensions, their pension amounts were smaer. The diversity of pension benefit amounts can be seen in the summary measures in tabe 4. Unmarried pension recipients between the 10th and the 90th percenties of the pension income distribution received between about $75 and $900 a month. Coupes with pensions between the 10th and the 90th percenties of the pension income distribution had amounts ranging from about $100 to neary $1,400 a month. Asset income. Tota asset income incudes interest from a forms of financia assets and savings accounts, stock dividends, annuities, renta income from property, income or withdrawas from IRA or Keogh accounts, and oan repayments received. As noted, most of the new beneficiaries had some form of asset income-84 percent of the coupes, 73 percent of the unmarried women, and 63 percent of the unmarried men. The amounts they received varied widey, however. The median monthy amount for those with asset income was $180 for coupes and $99 for the unmarried. Mean amounts, in contrast, were roughy three times as high as the medians-$539 for the coupes and $299 for the unmarried. Coupes in the top 5 percent of the asset income distribution received more than $2,000 a month, and the unmarried in the top 5 percent received more than $1,100 a month from their asset hodings. In contrast, very sma amounts of asset income were quite common. Those in the owest 25 percent of the asset in- Socia Security Buetin, January 1985/Vo. 48, No. 1 11

6 come distribution received ess than $35 a month among coupes and ess than $18 a month among the unmarried. Roe of Pensions and Asset Income Athough asset income was more commony received than pension income, it was more ikey to be in sma amounts. Tabe 5 highights this fact by presenting the percentage of new beneficiaries who received no more than $100 a month from these sources (incuding those who had no income from the sources). In a, haf the coupes and two-thirds of the unmarried received no more than $100 a month from pensions. Simiar proportions received no more than that amount in asset income. The proportion who received no more than $100 from either of the sources is smaer-26 percent for the coupes and 48 percent for the unmarried-indicating that many who did not have more than $100 from one source did have that much from the other. Socia security s strength as the foundation of retirement income is iustrated in tabe 6, which shows the proportion of new beneficiaries who received more than $400 a month from socia security or from pension or asset income. A majority of both the married and unmarried beneficiaries received socia security benefits exceeding this income eve. No other income source, by itsef, came cose to contributing this eve of retirement income for as many of the recent retirees. Of the two main suppementa sources of retirement income, pensions were more ikey than assets to provide income of more than $400 a month. Components of Tota Income Tabe 7 shows the proportion of mean tota monthy income provided by socia security, pensions, assets, and earnings by the eve of the new beneficiaries tota Tabe K-Percent of persons having either no income or no more than $100 a month in 1982 from socia security, pensions, or assets, by marita status: Retiredworker beneficiaries with first payabe benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Income source Married me Unmarried and their wives men and women Percent with no more than $100 a month from source Socia security Pensions Assets Both pensions and assets Socia security 1.9 Pensions Assets 16.7 Both pensions and assets 9.8 Percent with no, come from source Source: New Beneficiary Survey. October-December Tabe 6.-Percent of persons having 1982 monthy income of more than $400 a month from major sources, by marita status: Retired-worker beneficiaries with first payabe benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Married men Unmarried Income source and their wives me and women Percent with income greater than $400 per month from- Tota income Socia security Pensions Assets Earnings monthy incomes. It reveas that coupes in the owest 10 percent of the income distribution received about 77 percent of their average tota income from socia security, whie unmarried retired workers in the owest 10 percent of the income distribution received about 87 percent of their average income from socia security. Socia security remains the main component of income for beneficiaries up to the midde of the income distribution. Socia security benefits represent more than haf of tota income up through about the 45th percentie of the income distribution for coupes and up through about the 55th percentie of the income distribution for unmarried retired workers. Furthermore, average income from socia security is arger than the combined average income from pensions and assets up through about the 60th percentie of the income distribution for the coupes and up through the 80th percentie of the income distribution for the unmarried. On average, the roe of pensions in arger than that of assets in the broad midde range of the income distribution. At the highest income eve, assets are the major source of income, whie at the owest income eves, a sources other than socia security contribute reativey sma shares of tota income. Concusion In the preceding discussion, the three traditiona tiers of retirement income-socia security, pension income, and asset income-have been examined with respect to their prevaence among and their contributions to the income profies of a recent cohort of new socia security retired-worker beneficiaries. The New Beneficiary Survey data provide the foowing concusions about the income picture of these individuas: Today s retirees commony possess pension or asset income to suppement socia security. -The proportion of newy retired workers with income from pensions was 42 percent for the unmarried and 53 percent for married men, individuay. 12 Socia Security Buetin, January 1985IVo. 48, No. 1

7 Tabe 7.-Percent of mean tota 1982 monthy income from major sources, by percentie of tota monthy income distribution: Married men and their wives and unmarried persons who first received retired-worker benefits in June 1980-May 1981 Percentie of Mean tota tota income monthy distribution income A sources Percent of mean tota monthy income from- Socia Other security Pensions Assets Earnings income Married men and their wives st-10th I Ith-20th 21st-30th. 31st-40th. 41st-50th. 51st-60th. 61st-70th. 71st-80th. Sst-90th. 91st-100th. $ , ,257 oo 1, , , , , , I I Unmarried men and women st-10th 1 th-20th 21st-30th. 31st-40th. 4st-50th. 51st-60th.. 6st-70th. 7st-80th. Est-90th. 91st-100th. $ I oo I2 588 I I7 I6 4 1, , , The proportion of newy retired workers with income from assets was 69 percent for the unmarried and 84 percent for married men and their wives. Many of the new retirees in 1982 did not have arge amounts of income from pensions or assets. Those with no income, or with no more than $100 a month, from either assets or pensions accounted for about haf of the unmarried and about onefourth of the married coupes. Socia security remains the main component of income for retirees up through the midde of the income distribution. - For coupes, socia security was the major source of income for those up through the 45th percentie of their income distribution. - Socia security accounted for more than haf of tota income for unmarried retired workers up through the 55th percentie of their income distribution. One additiona source of income-earnings-is not traditionay incuded in the three tiers of retirement income. Yet, the data from the NBS ceary highight the important roe of earnings among many of the new beneficiaries: Earnings from continued work were another major source of income for about one-fourth of the new beneficiaries. -Approximatey 44 percent of the married coupes reported earnings from either the husband or the wife, with neary equa numbers of husbands and wives currenty empoyed. -About 27 percent of the unmarried retired workers were currenty empoyed, with the unmarried women somewhat more ikey than the unmarried men to report current receipt of earnings income. The presence of continued empoyment among this sampe from the New Beneficiary Survey underscores the dynamic nature of the retirement event. Even after the eapse of, on average, 2 years since the receipt of the first socia security benefit, one-fourth of these retired workers continued their attachment to the abor force. The reasons for this continued empoyment, incuding the duration of the current job, the eve of abor-force attachment, and the roe of earnings income for the empoyed, are a subject for further investigation. The examination of the income situation of the new socia security beneficiaries wi move from this study of the eves and amounts of income receipt to a broader anaysis of the tota income distribution of the new beneficiary popuation. The insights regarding the roes of pension and asset income for the newy retired provide a perspective from which to anayze how the components of income for these new beneficiaries reate to the distribution adequacy issues facing poicymakers concerned about the income of the oder popuation. Socia Security Buetin, January 1985/Vo. 48, No. 1

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