The Social Security Notch Issue

T-HRD-88-14: Published: Apr 14, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1988.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

GAO discussed the social security benefits disparity, known as the notch, specifically: (1) how the notch arose; (2) how it affects beneficiaries; and (3) alternatives for financing legislation to address the problem. GAO found that: (1) Congress amended the Social Security Act in 1977 to alter the social security benefits computation formula; (2) under the new formula, retirees born in or after 1917 receive smaller benefit amounts than those born before then; (3) rapid inflation in the late 1970's and early 1980's caused the benefits of the pre-notch group to rise faster and widened the gap between the two groups' benefits; and (4) legislation to award higher benefits to the notch group would be costly and would affect both the short- and long-term status of the trust fund. GAO believes that Congress may wish to: (1) keep the effect of notch legislation on current and projected trust fund balances as neutral as possible; (2) evaluate the resources and time required to implement the legislation; and (3) retain the current 5-year transition period.

May 5, 2016

Apr 13, 2016

Apr 4, 2016

Mar 1, 2016

Oct 29, 2015

Oct 27, 2015

  • retirement icon, source: PhotoDisc

    Social Security's Future:

    Answers to Key Questions
    GAO-16-75SP: Published: Oct 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Oct 27, 2015.

Sep 30, 2015

Sep 29, 2015

Sep 4, 2015

Jun 15, 2015

Looking for more? Browse all our products here