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健康与退休研究中的公共公职人员社会保障意外之财消除与政府补贴抵消条款
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时间:2014-2-19    浏览量:1723

Alan L. Gustman, Thomas L. Steinmeier, Nahid Tabatabai. 2013. The social security windfall elimination and government pension offset provision for public employees in the health and retirement study. Working Paper 19724. National Bureau of Economic Research

http://www.nber.org/papers/w19724

Abstract: :This paper uses data from the Health and Retirement Study to investigate the effects of Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision on Social Security benefits received by individuals and households. WEP reduces the benefits of individuals who worked in jobs covered by Social Security and also worked in uncovered jobs where a pension was earned. WEP also reduces spouse benefits. GPO reduces spouse and survivor benefits for persons who worked in uncovered government employment where they also earned a pension.

Unlike previous studies, we take explicit account of pensions earned on jobs not covered by Social Security, a key determinant of the size of WEP and GPO adjustments. Also unlike previous studies, we focus on the household. This allows us to incorporate the full effects of WEP and GPO on spouse and survivor benefits, and to evaluate the effects of WEP and GPO on the assets accumulated by affected families.

Among our findings: About 3.5 percent of households are subject to either WEP or to GPO. The present value of their Social Security benefits is reduced by roughly one fifth. This amounts to five to six percent of the total wealth they accumulate before retirement. Households affected by both WEP and GPO lose about one third of their benefit. Limiting the reduction in the Social Security benefit to half the size of the pension from uncovered employment reduces the penalty from WEP for members of the original HRS cohort by about 60 percent.

摘要:本文运用健康与退休研究中的数据去调查社会保障意外之财消除条款(WEP)与政府补贴抵消条款(GPO)对个人和家庭获得的社会保障收益的影响。WEP降低了那些拥有过社会保障覆盖的工作的人和拥有虽未被覆盖但可得到补贴的人得到的收益。WEP还降低了配偶的收益。GPO降低了那些在未被覆盖的政府工作中得到补贴的人的配偶与幸存者收入。

与之前的研究不同,我们详尽地研究了从未被覆盖的工作中得到的补贴——它对WEP GPO调整具有决定性作用。另外的不同在于,我们关注了家庭。这让我们涵盖了WEP GPO对配偶和幸存者收入的全部影响,并估算了WEP GPO对所涉及家庭的财产的影响。

在我们的发现中:约3.5%的家庭被WEP GPO中至少一个所影响。他们社会保障收益的现值大约下降了五分之一。这约等于他们退休前积累的财富总值的5%-6%。被WEP GPO影响的家庭丧失了大约三分之一的财富。将不被覆盖的工作的社会保障收益的下降限制在补贴的一半减少了HRS原始人群60% WEP的罚金。

数据来源:Health and Retirement Study (HRS)

研究方法:描述性统计

Conclusion:This paper has investigated the effects of Social Security’s Windfall Elimination

Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision on Social Security benefits received by individuals and households. A number of the innovations in this study turn out to be of central importance to having a full understanding of the effects of WEP and GPO adjustments. Unlike previous studies, we take explicit account of pensions earned on jobs not covered by Social Security, a key determinant of the size of WEP and GPO adjustments. Also unlike previous studies, we focus on the household. This allows us to incorporate the full effects of WEP and GPO on spouse and survivor benefits, and to evaluate the effects of WEP and GPO on the preretirement assets accumulated by affected families.

Our analysis is based on data from the original cohort of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the most recent cohort for which a full set of required information is available. We constructed households from HRS data, estimated the paths of covered and uncovered employment and earnings for each spouse over their lifetimes, estimated the values of pensions from uncovered work, calculated Social Security benefits using the Social Security Administration’s ANYPIA program, and calculated the sizes of any WEP and GPO offsets. We also estimated the relations between the sizes of these adjustments and pension and other wealth accumulated by retirement age.

Among our specific findings are the following:

l  Of 7,623 households in the original HRS cohort, 3.8 percent are subject to either WEP or to GPO. The comparable figure for the Early Boomer cohort is 3.5 percent.

l  Among the HRS households affected by either WEP or GPO, the WEP adjustment is $17,050 and the GPO adjustment is another $14,101, reducing the present value of Social Security benefits by 24.1 percent among the affected households. For the Early Boomer cohort,WEP and GPO reduce the present value of Social Security benefits by 18.5 percent.

l  For members of the original HRS cohort affected by WEP or GPO, benefits lost amount to ten percent of the value of pensions plus Social Security they in fact receive and to 6.1 percent of their total wealth. Comparable losses for members of the Early Boomer cohort amount to 8.7 percent of total Social Security plus pension wealth and 5.3 percent of total wealth.

l  By far the largest impact is on households affected by both WEP and GPO. Those from the original HRS cohort lose $45,786 in present value of benefits, or 38.9 percent of their total Social Security benefits. Those subject to WEP and GPO from the Early Boomer cohort lose 28.7 percent of their benefit.

l  We also decomposed the effects of the WEP adjustment into two parts, the part due to the use of a lower replacement rate up to the first bend point in the PIA formula, and the mitigation of this adjustment by the pension. Limiting the reduction in the Social Security benefit to half the size of the pension from uncovered employment reduces the penalty from WEP for members of the original HRS cohort by $5,924, that is, by 58 percent. For the Early Boomers, the reduction in the replacement rate alone would lower benefits by $12,476, so limiting the adjustment to half the value of the pension from uncovered work reduces the WEP penalty by $7,676, or by 61.5 percent.

We have also discussed the rationale for the specification of WEP and GPO adjustments to Social Security benefits under current law. This law is designed to address a number of perceived inequities when those who work on jobs not covered by Social Security also become eligible for own, or for spouse or survivor benefits under Social Security.

The law does meet a number of its purposes. However, the limitation of the WEP offset to half the value of the pension mitigates the effects of this adjustment. The clear winners in this system are the individuals who benefit from the progressive Social Security benefit formula, having worked in both covered and uncovered employment, having become entitled to a Social Security benefit, but who had little or no pension from uncovered work. These individuals experience only modest effects of WEP and GPO adjustments. Consequently, they have gained a higher rate of return to Social Security taxes paid than those who continuously work in covered jobs. The reason is that work in uncovered employment is counted as zero years of earnings.

It has been argued that the WEP adjustment disproportionately affects low wage workers because it is applied only up to the first bend point of average indexed earnings. However, this argument ignores the effect of limiting WEP adjustments to half the value of the pension earned on the uncovered job. Social Security benefits will only be affected if the individual has high enough earnings in government or other uncovered employment to generate a large pension. Consequently, those who criticize the design of WEP and GPO on distributional grounds are exaggerating their case. This is not to say, however, that there is no case for redesign.

In addition, the law does not address all potential inequities. The Government Pension

Offset adjustment seems fair when comparing two earner households with identical earnings histories. In one, both spouses always worked in covered employment and paid payroll taxes. In the other, the lower paid spouse did not work in covered employment and thus did not pay taxes. In the absence of the GPO, the household where the low earner worked in uncovered government employment would not have the top up to spouse benefits reduced by own Social Security benefits, as is standard for dual beneficiaries. That household would therefore receive higher spouse and survivor benefits than the household where work was exclusively in covered employment. On the other hand, GPO seems to be quite unfair to affected households when they are compared to one earner households, where one spouse receives the full spouse or survivor benefits. Here we have two households, where the primary earner paid Social Security taxes in both, while the spouse did not. Yet one will receive full spouse and survivor benefits, while the other will have spouse and survivor benefits reduced or eliminated. At the heart of this problem is the disparate treatment favoring one earner over two earner households, whether the low earner of the two earner household worked in uncovered employment, or only in covered employment

We conclude by reminding the reader of a number of caveats affecting our estimates of WEP and GPO adjustments. First, respondents underreport the extent they work for a government employer. To partially deal with this underreporting, we counted a respondent as working for a government if there is a self-report of having worked for a federal, state or local government employer, or if the respondent reported working in an uncovered job. But not all jobs that are not covered by Social Security are government jobs. Second, there are small inconsistencies in the Social Security records that we use to identify covered and uncovered employment. Third, throughout the analysis, we calculate WEP and GPO adjustments using respondent self-reports about expected pension values, which we link to uncovered employment. GAO (2007) indicates that government pension income is not always accurately reported to the Social Security Administration by affected workers. To the extent that government pensions are underreported to SSA, we overstate the size of WEP and GPO adjustments. Fourth and last, we remind the reader of a caveat we noted at the outset. We have not included behavioral responses to WEP and GPO as affected respondents and members of their households react to the incentives created by these policies. It is, of course, unclear how many understand these incentives and make their employment and benefit election choices with these incentives in mind.

讨论与结论:本文运用健康与退休研究中的数据去调查社会保障意外之财消除条款(WEP)与政府补贴抵消条款(GPO)对个人和家庭获得的社会保障收益的影响。本文的多处创新之处正是理解WEPGPO调整的关键。与之前的研究不同,我们详尽地研究了从未被覆盖的工作中得到的补贴——它对WEPGPO调整具有决定性作用。另外的不同在于,我们关注了家庭。这让我们涵盖了WEPGPO对配偶和幸存者收入的全部影响,并估算了WEPGPO对所涉及家庭的财产的影响。

我们的分析基于健康与退休研究原始相关者以及最近的信息完整的相关者的数据。我们构造了家庭的HRS数据用于估测覆盖与未覆盖雇用的通道和每个配偶毕生的收入。并估测了未被覆盖工作的补贴金额,计算出了运用社会保障机构ANYPIA项目的社会保障收益和任何WEPGPO抵消的规模。我们还估测了这些调整、津贴与其他退休前积累的财富间的关系。

我们的发现如下:

l  HRS原始人群的7623个家庭中,3.8%处于WEPGPO的影响之下。在早期婴儿潮中这个数据是3.5%

l  在被WEPGPO影响的HRS家庭中,WEP的调整为$17,050GPO的调整为另外的$14,101。这降低了被影响家庭的24.1%的社会保障收益现值。在早期婴儿潮中这个数据是18.5%

l  在被WEPGPO影响的HRS家庭中,他们的补贴加上能够拿到的社会保障损失了10%,即总财富的6.1%。与之相对的是婴儿潮中补贴加社会保障的损失是8.7%,即总财富的5.3%

l  目前为止,WEPGPO造成的最大的影响是对家庭的。原始HRS人群损失了$45,786的收益现值,或说是他们总社会保障收益的38.9%。在早期婴儿潮中这个数据是28.7%

l  我们也将WEP造成的影响分解为两个部分:对不高于PIA方程中第一拐点的更低替代率,和由于补贴造成的缓和。将不被覆盖的工作的社会保障收益的下降限制在补贴的一半减少了HRS原始人群$5,92458%)的WEP罚金。对于早期婴儿潮这种替代率的下降会是收益下降$12,476,将不被覆盖的工作的社会保障收益的下降限制在补贴的一半减少了HRS原始人群$7,67661.5%)的WEP罚金。

我们也探讨了现行法律下WEPGPO对社会保障收益的调整的基本原理。现在的法是为了强调被认知的不平等(当那些拥有不被社会保障覆盖的工作的人也有资格获得社会保障下的自身收益或配偶收益或幸存者收益)而被设计的。

现行法规不能满足其自身很多的目的。然而,将WEP限制到一半的补贴缓和了这样的调整。在这种体系下明显的赢家是那些从进步的社会保障收益公式中获益的,在被覆盖和未被覆盖的雇用中都工作过的且具备获得社会保障收益资格的人,而不是那些工作未被社会保障覆盖且没有补贴的人。这些人只能承担WEPGPO调整最真实的影响。因此,他们比那些继续拥有被覆盖工作的人有更高的社会保障税收回报率。原因就是在不被覆盖的部门中工作的人被算作收入零年。

有说法认为WEP调整不成比例地影响了低收入工人,因为它只应用于一般指数化收入的第一拐点。然而,这种说法忽视了限制WEP调整到一半补贴水平对未覆盖工作的影响。社会保障收益只可能在以下情况下被影响——个人在政府中拥有高的、足够的收入或其他能提供巨大补贴的未被覆盖的工作。因此,那些在分配层面上批评WEPGPO设计的人是夸大了事实的。然而这并非是说,没有重新设计的理由。

另外现行法规并没有强调所有潜在的不平等。当比较两个收入家庭的可识别的收入历史时,政府补贴抵消调整看起来是公平的。从一个角度讲,配偶双方都在被覆盖的部门工作并缴纳工资税。从另一个角度讲,收入更低的配偶拥有未覆盖的工作且不缴纳工资税。GPO缺位的时候,由于现行法律是基于双重收益人制定的,拥有未覆盖政府工作的低收入者将不会拥有被自己社会保障收益降低的配偶收益。与完全在被覆盖工作岗位上工作的家庭相比,这样的家庭将因此获得更高的配偶收益与幸存者收益。从另一个角度讲,GPO看起来对家庭的影响非常不公平,当他们与单收入者家庭相比时(一位配偶获得全部的配偶收益或幸存者收益)。这里有两个家庭:主要收入者支付社会保障税,而配偶完全不缴费。其中一个会完全接收配偶收益或幸存者收益,而另一个家庭的配偶收益或幸存者收益被打了折扣。这个问题的核心是福泽双收入者家庭的不同待遇,不论双收入者家庭中的低收入者是否拥有被覆盖工作。

我们通过回忆对影响WEPGPO调整的一系列警告来总结。首先,调查对象低估了作为公职人员的工作范围。为了部分解决这种低估,我们将调查对象视为唯政府工作且设置有关于是否为联邦、州或本地政府工作的自我汇报,或调查对象是否报告在未覆盖岗位上工作。但不是所有未被社会保障覆盖的工作都是政府工作。第二,与社会保障记录中我们过去对工作是否被覆盖的识别的一致性比较小。第三,通过分析,我们使用调查对象对补贴价值(与未覆盖的工作相关)的自我报告计算出WEPGPO调整。GAO显示政府补贴收入并非一直都是被准确地向社会保障属报告的。考虑到向社会保障属汇报的政府补贴是被低估的,我们夸大了WEPGPO调整的规模。最后我们希望提示读者我们在开始的时候发出的警告。我们并未将对WEPGPO的行为反应纳入其中作为被影响的的人与对这些反映产生的刺激做出反应的家庭成员。因此,我们不清楚我们对这些刺激理解了多少,并将他们雇佣的收益选择和那些刺激考虑在内。

 

By 潘一坤)


 

 
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