Estimates of the Savings if the Social Security Benefit Formula Which Favors Short-Term Workers Was Revised

HRD-83-54: Published: May 6, 1983. Publicly Released: May 26, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO updated previous estimates of the potential savings to the social security trust funds if the short-term worker advantage were removed from benefit calculations. GAO was also asked to identify the groups and approximate numbers of individuals that currently realize this advantage and would be affected by the change.

Updated estimates show that revising the benefit formula to remove the short-term worker advantage would save social security over $5 billion during the 7-year period from 1984 to 1990. However, GAO believes that any reductions to the retirement benefits for such persons could be counteracted by an accompanying increase in the amount of other benefits they are entitled to. GAO noted that the information concerning the numbers of affected individuals was not available at the time the report was completed.

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