Partial Retirement and The Earnings Test



This paper studies the effects of the earnings test on retirement behavior. The earnings tests of most social security systems tax post-retirement earnings at a relatively high level and do not lead to actuarially fair increases in future benefits. This results in discouragement of partial retirement. The paper shows that a reduction in the earnings test’s tax rate is likely to increase part-time work; and that in special cases the increase in work effort may even lead to a reduction in the net transfer from social security to the individual.