Thursday, August 9, 2018

SSA Job Opening: Deputy Chief Actuary, Short-Range

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for an executive to serve in a leadership role within its Office of the Chief Actuary (OCACT) as the Deputy Chief Actuary for Short-Range Actuarial Estimates.  The complete vacancy announcement can be found on USAJOBS at SSA-EX-504.  The Deputy Chief Actuary will report directly to the Chief Actuary in Woodlawn, MD. The vacancy is open now through September 4, 2018.

The OCACT has agency-wide responsibility for:

  • Actuarial estimates for SSA programs and projected changes;
  • Evaluating operations and estimating future operations of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund and the Federal Disability Insurance Trust Fund;
  • Conducting studies of program financing; and
  • Performing actuarial and demographic research on social insurance and related program issues.

The Deputy Chief Actuary has responsibility for:

  • Planning, directing, and coordinating the development of short-range cost estimates;
  • Developing special cost analyses involving technical actuarial issues;
  • Projecting short range operations of the Trust Funds;
  • Projecting expenditures under the Supplemental Security Income program;
  • Providing a variety of data services including data collection and statistical support; and
  • Advising the Chief Actuary on all matters of concern and serves as an actuarial consultant to the Commissioner of Social Security.

Candidates for the position must have professional experience at a senior level (equivalent to the GS-15 in either the General Schedule or a comparable pay plan) and provide evidence of meeting the educational requirement for the 1510 Actuarial Science Series.  Applicants must demonstrate via their resume and application their level of experience for each of the executive core qualifications that are included in the job posting, as well as address each of the mandatory technical qualifications to substantiate their technical knowledge and abilities.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Upcoming event: Social Security Advisory Board. Moving Forward - Implementing Changes in the Representative Payee Program

Social Security Advisory Board

Moving Forward - Implementing Changes in the Representative Payee Program

On Friday, September 7, 2018, the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) will host a day-long forum on the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) representative payee program. This forum continues SSAB’s longstanding effort to support and improve a vital government program serving approximately eight million people who need assistance in managing benefits provided by the SSA.

This forum brings policymakers, practitioners and researchers together to explore how SSA can study and improve the representative payee selection process with an evidence-based approach. Recent legislation, “The Strengthening Protections for Social Security Beneficiaries Act of 2018” (H.R. 4547) makes this event especially timely.

During the forum, you will hear about:

  • how the new legislation sets a roadmap for program reform from congressional staff.
  • how the current order of selection might be improved.
  • particular challenges facing organizational payees and what might be done to meet them.
  • how SSA can improve the data flow to support research that can improve the program.

Location: The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (HVC–201AB) Washington, DC, 20515

Keep checking back on our website for updates.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

NBER Summer Institute Social Security Papers

SI 2018 Social Security

Jeffrey B. Liebman, Organizer

July 25, 2018

Supported by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration

Summer Institute 2018 master schedule

Wednesday, July 25

Kathleen J. Mullen, RAND Corporation
Stephanie L. Rennane, RAND Corporation
The Effect of Unconditional Cash Transfers on the Return to Work of Permanently Disabled Workers

Andreas Haller, University of Zurich
Stefan Staubli, University of Calgary and NBER
Josef Zweimueller, University of Zurich
Tightening Disability Screening Or Reducing Disability Benefits? Evidence and Welfare Implications

Symposium on Disability Insurance
Karen Glenn, Social Security Administration
Stephen Goss, Social Security Administration
Nicole Maestas, Harvard University and NBER
Jeffrey B. Liebman, Harvard University and NBER

Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NBER
Ohto Kanninen, Labor Institute for Economic Research
The Effect of Relabeling and Incentives on Retirement: Evidence from a Pension Reform

Antoine Bozio, Institute for Fiscal Studies
Thomas Breda, Paris School of Economics
Julien Grenet, Paris School of Economics
Tax-benefit linkage and Incidence of Social Security Contributions: Evidence from France

Kathleen McKiernan, University of Minnesota
Welfare Impacts of Social Security Reform: The Case of Chile in 1981

Gopi Shah Goda, Stanford University and NBER
Matthew Levy, London School of Economics
Colleen Flaherty Manchester, University of Minnesota
Aaron Sojourner, University of Minnesota
Joshua Tasoff, Claremont Graduate University
Mechanisms behind Retirement Saving Behavior: Evidence from Administrative and Survey Data

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hearing July 25th: How the Multiemployer Pension System Affects Stakeholders



How the Multiemployer Pension System Affects Stakeholders
Wednesday, July 25, 2018

215 Dirksen Senate Office Building

10:00 AM

Hearing will be webcast

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Mr. James P. Naughton, Assistant Professor and Donald P. Jacobs Scholar, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Mr. Joshua D. Rauh, Ph.D, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Mr. Kenneth Stribling, Retired Teamster, Milwaukee, WI

Mr. Timothy P. Lynch, Senior Director Government Relations Practice, Morgan, Lewis, and  Bockius LLP, Annapolis, MD

Senator Hatch's Statement|Senator Brown's Statement

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Monday, July 23, 2018

Savings and Retirement Foundation with SSA’s Hillary Waldron, July 25.

Join us for a Lunch Meeting with Guest Speaker:
Hillary Waldron
Economist with the Office of Economic Analysis and Comparative Studies, Social Security Administration

Who will discuss her new SSA paper:
“Working and Claiming Behavior at Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age (EEA)”
July 25, 2018
Noon-1:00 p.m.
Willard Office Building
1455 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
(Lunch will be provided)

There is considerable interest in evaluating the potential effects of proposals to increase Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age (EEA) in the Social Security policy literature (Waldron 2015). Additionally, there is interest in evaluating proposed changes to Social Security’s retired worker benefit that seek to shield Social Security fully insured workers deemed to be most vulnerable to those proposed changes (Waldron 2012, 2013). This project aims to contribute to both strands of that literature by extracting potentially relevant empirical information from Social Security’s administrative data files.
To provide a first look at the data, this paper is limited to observations of work behavior at ages 61 and 63 and claiming behavior at Social Security’s Early Entitlement Age (EEA) of 62—that is at the age at which workers are first eligible to claim Social Security retired worker benefits. Under current law, retired worker benefits are reduced a fraction of a percent for each month a worker claims before his or her full retirement age(FRA).


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Monday, July 16, 2018

Smith: Fixing Social Security starts with the voters

Writing for Market Watch, Brenton Smith argues that the responsibility for the failure to enact Social Security reform isn’t merely Congress’s fault; rather, it’s due to voters who don’t have a strong understanding of the program and the problems it faces:

Here’s a hard truth: Politicians are not problem solvers. They are consensus builders, distilling a range of ideas into actionable legislation. It is their job to shake hands and scratch backs until sufficient agreement emerges that a proposal is generally acceptable to voters.

In order for that process to thrive, there has to be some fabric of fact on which to build consensus. Today that foundation does not exist. Instead, the discussion of Social Security has devolved into a contentious shouting match in which hyperbole and myth frequently pass for truth. No sensible politician will attempt to build agreement in that forum of discussion.

I think Smith is partly true. Yes, voters don’t understand Social Security policy very well. Guess what? Members of Congress don’t understand it too well either.

But I think they both understand it well enough. The root of the problem, as I see it, is that – for all the talk of  helping our grandchildren – both voters and politicians selfish. Voters, or at least the median voter, would prefer to stick tomorrow’s generation with the tough decisions rather than having to bear those costs today. Politicians would rather acquiesce to that than lose re-election.

This, I think, is a major reason why educational campaigns on Social Security (or Medicare, or the debt) haven’t succeeded. The problem isn’t a lack of knowledge, although that knowledge deficit surely exists. It’s human nature, a desire to favor yourself over other people, even if those other people are your grandchildren.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Commentary on the 2018 Social Security Trustees Report

On June 5 the Social Security Trustees released their 2018 report on the program’s finances. Not much change: the 75-year actuarial deficit increased by a minute amount to 2.84% of wages while the date of the trust fund’s projected insolvency remained steady at 2034.

Following are some articles commenting or providing insight onto the Trustees Report.

The Trustees summary of their report.

  • A letter from the two former public trustees, Chuck Blahous and Robert Reischauer.
  • Marc Goldwein: As Demagogues Squawk, Clock is Ticking on Social Security.
  • Video of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget’s event on the Trustees Report.
  • Elizabeth Bauer: Who's Afraid Of The Big, Bad Old Age Dependency Ratio? and Against Social Security Anti-Chicken-Little-ism (On The Social Security Trustees' Report)
  • Andrew Biggs: Social Security Reform, Back Where We Started.
  • Alicia Munnell: Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2018 Update in Perspective.
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