I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on Social Security reform last evening, sponsored by the Pepper Institute at Florida State University. Other invited guests included John Rother of the AARP and Jason Furman, formerly of the Kerry campaign. Packed house, good discussion. See this coverage in the local paper.
As the story notes, I pitched my ideal reform to the crowd, to some grumbling about higher retirement ages. Some of the questions afterward got me to thinking about ways to make that transition less painful--including allowing workers to take partial benefits in years after age 62--like half benefits for three years as they downscale their work, with appropriate actuarial adjustment. This is a more flexible way of doing the all-or-nothing approach for early retirement that may appeal to some workers.
Elsewhere, Tom Maguire decides he's the "One More Minute Man" with the clearest exposition of the "higher dividend payout" response to Baker/Krugman. He's been doing the heavy lifting on this one.
As well, the local paper contains this frustrating AP story--the President's approval rating appears to be dropping among seniors since the SOTU, even though every element of the reforms he's discussed explicitly preserves the system for those 55 and over.
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