Women, Marriage, and Social Security Benefits: Revisited

Christopher R. Tamborini, U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA)
Kevin Whitman, U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA)

This study examines women's marital patterns in relation to their potential eligibility for Social Security spouse or survivor benefits. The first section provides a detailed analysis of changes in women's (aged 40 to 69) marital histories between 1985 and 2001. This analysis is based on a comparison of data reported in Iams and Ycas’ (1988), which used the 1985 Marital History Supplement to the Current Population Survey, with the 2001 Marital History Module to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). The second section analyzes expected eligibility patterns among future women beneficiaries for the years 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050. The data source is the Social Security Administration’s Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) model, which is a micro-simulation model developed to estimate expected economic and demographic characteristics of future beneficiaries. Findings call attention to the interplay between women's marital trends and Social Security benefit rules.

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Presented in Poster Session 7