Can You Comment On When Your Software Will Be Able To Reflect This Quirk In SS?

Jun 25 2020 - 8:47pm

Can you comment on when MMSC will be able to reflect this quirk is SS?


To summarize the cited article for the benefit of other readers, the author of the article is postulating that future benefits for people born in 1960 and possibly later will decline as a result of lower wages resulting from COVID-19's effect on the economy. When calculating Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security indexes a person's earnings based on national average wages in the year the person's reaches age 60. Thus, if average wages go down in the year that a person turns 60, their indexed earnings will be lower. And, that in turn would at least potentially lower their future benefit rate since the rate is based on an average of their highest 35 years of indexed earnings.

The actual national average wage in 2020 will not be known until the latter part of 2021. As a result, that's the earliest that the correct indexed earnings for a person born in 1960 can be calculated. Our software uses the intermediate real wage differential from the latest Social Security Trustees Report to project future National Average Wage Indices (NAWI) for purposes of providing benefit estimates for people turning age 62 in future years, and we have no present plans to unilaterally assume a that there will be a lower NAWI in 2020 or subsequent years.

That said, users of the software are permitted to adjust the future assumed rate of inflation in order to customize their benefit estimates. Furthermore, our company head Larry Kotlikoff has been told by top officials from Social Security that Congress is highly likely to provide a fix to address any unintended consequences of COVID-19 on future benefit rates.

Best, Jerry