us DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE Social Security yaWe li iiltsicelitela)

Social Security bulletin

May 1955 Volume 18 Number 5

Why Do Beneficiaries Retire? Who Among Them Return to Work?

Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: History of the Benefit Formula


the official monthly publicat yf the Social Security Administra y a y . a on. An anual staiste! sup Social Security Bulletin ment with calendar-yeal qdata ~ a has been carried as part of h September issue since 1950 tat =a ments in BULLETIN articles d May 1955 necessarily reflect official polici« f the Social Security Administratior Volume 18 Number 5 I BULLETID I pared I f | se ind & s, Office of the ymmiissione : . $ i Secu \dministrat In this 1SSuUéES de dit i ery n p! Merica i Angela Murra A ; Social Security in Revieu ments concer! Program operatior the BULLETI i be add: ed Research and Why Do Beneficiaries Retire? Who Among Them Reé The BULLETID planned Work? by Margaret L. Stecker t 1a l I Sve - se oe Old-Age and Survivors Insurance: History f th fT : oa Formula, by Robert J. Myers

Notes and Brief Report rs

Editorial Advisory Committe Assistance expenditures per inhabitant, 1953-54

rrustees report on OASI trust fund

Wilhur |. Coher "hoairma? vv ss en. ¢ er eG Medical Advisory Committee on the disability freeze Robe M. B Phy s Hill a 1M. David Thomas Huttor > . . Ce ? O , nia E Dorothy I . Recent Publications Ida C. Merriam Robert J. Myers Current Operating Statistics I ird | cnwartz Erd W. Smith M: Tay I S IEPARTMENT Ol HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFAR | . ue ( \ I { BBY 5 4 r he Superintendent f y nt Government Pri ' . Office, Washington 25, D. ¢ SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATI ' Price: $2.00 a year the United , AND, ( Canada ul Mexico; $2.75 \ ( I ie t < B () \ B i | " | DEAN ( Are r publicati I | \ . a ee! pp Le Direct f the 1) > r ivet i P \ Bure f Budge x »be 3 | 1 | dir W J. ¢ 53 . . ( | 1) \ é this ublicat | é " ed ny tem I . , be e} ted itatior Y: | ( B tin p | j A Cs a , t t '


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Social Security in Review

assistance rose slightly in Feb-

ruary to a total of $230 million, chiefly because of further increases in caseloads and small rises in aver- age payments for all types of assist- ance except old-age assistance. The number of persons receiving old-age assistance was 4,500 or 0.2 percent less in February than in January; total payments dropped $894,000 or 0.7 percent. General assistance had the largest proportionate rises both in caseloads (2.5 percent) and in total payments (2.7 percent).

Among the States the old-age as- sistance caseloads changed, percent- agewise, within a narrow range. Forty of the 53 States reported de- creases. In the other three special types of assistance, most of the States reported increases in caseloads; the ranges were somewhat wider than in old-age assistance. Caseload changes were relatively substantial in general assistance, but they were confined pri- marily to the smaller agencies. Of the 49 States reporting changes in general assistance caseloads, 16 had increases of more than 5 percent. The sharpest increases were in Ar- kansas (30 percent) and in Montana (49 percent). At the other extreme, Alaska reported the largest de- crease—14 percent.

Small changes in average pay- ments for the Nation are frequently a reflection of a substantial change in only one or two States. In old-age assistance, for example, although av- erage payments rose in 42 States, a decrease of $19 in the average pay- ment in Colorado—amounting to a drop of more than $1 million in State expenditures—was responsible for the decline in total expenditures for the

LT assist expenditures for public

country as a whole. Payments in Colorado were based on a maximum of $90 in February; the maximum in effect for January had been $109. Among the other States, only Minne- sota and North Dakota had changes (both increases) in average pay- ments for old-age assistance that ex- ceeded $1. Higher vendor payments for medical care accounted for the rises in these States. Vendor pay- ments for medical care also explained most of the larger changes in the other three special types of public assistance.

In Virginia the average payment to families receiving aid to dependent children has dropped $1.81 since De- cember 1954 as the result of a policy designed to save funds. Effective in January the State agency stopped re-

imbursing localities for any amount paid to families that exceeded the Federal maximums. All payments greater than these maximums will come entirely out of local funds. Decreases and increases in average payments for general assistance were both substantial. By far the largest decrease ($18.56 per case) occurred in Oregon, where the State, to con- serve funds, made smaller allowances for food, limited the number of pay- ments for rent, and provided clothing on a restricted basis. These policies were applicable for most of the coun- ties in Oregon. Alaska reported the greatest increase in average payment ($12.38 per case). Because of the sizable drop in the number of cases, however, the increase in total pay- ments amounted to less than $700.

Old-age and survivors insurance:

Monthly benefits in current-payment status: Number (in thousands) ._-------- Amount (in millions) _.._.__------ Average old-age benefit__.__._--_-

Public assistance: Recipients (in thousands) :

Old-age assistance. _.....-...---.

Aid to dependent children (total)

ad We tie Wc otc... Aid to the permanently and totally disabled_-_-_- General assistance (caseS) ....---

Average payments:

Old-age assistance............_- Aid to dependent children (per family) ..----- Y § & f =e RR ree aes Aid to the permanently and totally disabled_-_-_- General assistance (per case) -.._-

Unemployment insurance:

Initial claims (in thousands) .-...-- Beneficiaries, weekly average (in thousands) __--- Benefits paid (in millions) _.....--- Average weekly payment for total unemployment-

February January February 1955 1

955 1954 cannes 7,086 6,967 6,129 ompentetnataniiins $353 $345 $262 sr ciensinen ennai $59.92 $59.44 $51.40 atiwintitiiiniens 2,554 2,558 2,578 ntetienain 2,226 2,198 1,996 steeds 103 103 106 227 226 200 onhinmaduady 380 370 312 smanetiiniameiiaeia $56.71 $51.97 $51.25 86.12 85.73 84.59 sttataiahimaiintabith 56.63 56.50 55.73 54.60 54.37 53.49 eciqneiattmsetishsisiote 56.70 56.57 50.81 nian 1,027 1,490 1,340 1,672 1,668 1,864 wnamanninaas $163 $171 $179 $25.06 $25.12 $24.74

@ The old-age and survivors in- surance program at the end of Febru- ary was paying monthly benefits amounting to $353.2 million to almost 7.1 million persons. The number of beneficiaries increased during the month by 1.7 percent—a gain that amounts to about 118,600 and is 53 percent greater than that in Feb- ruary 1954. The rise reflects both the seasonal increase in monthly benefit awards and the liberalization in the retirement test under the 1954 amendments. These liberalizing pro- visions, which became effective in January 1955, changed the earnings test for wage earners from a monthly to an annual basis, raised to $1,200 the amount that beneficiaries can earn in a year before any benefits are withheld, and lowered from 75 to 72 the age at which beneficiaries can re- ceive benefits regardless of the amount of their earnings. Because of this liberalization in the retirement test, monthly payments were resumed to many beneficiaries whose benefits had been suspended, and benefits were awarded and paid to many per- sons who otherwise could not have received them.

Retired workers and their depend- ents—aged wives, dependent hus- bands, wives under age 65 with child beneficiaries in their care, and young children—exceeded 5 million for the first time in February and made up almost 72 percent of all beneficiaries. Their monthly benefits, which totaled $270.1 million, represented almost 77 percent of all monthly benefits paid

under the program for February. At the end of 1949, 10 years after monthly benefits were first payable, there were 1.7 million retired workers and their dependents who were ben- eficiaries. In the following 5 years the number of such beneficiaries almost tripled.

Monthly benefits were awarded in February to about 141,600 persons, about 40,600 more than in January. All types of benefits except parent’s benefits shared in the _ increase. Lump-sum death payments totaling $7.5 million were awarded in February to 40,200 persons; the average lump- sum payment per deceased worker was $193.02.

Monthly benefits were being with- held from almost 346,000 beneficiaries entitled to old-age, wife’s, husband's, widow’s, widower’s, mother’s, or par- ent’s benefits at the end of 1954—the latest date for which information on the reason for withholding benefits is available. The reason for 71 percent of the suspensions was the employ- ment of the beneficiaries (under age 75) for wages of more than $75 a month. Wife’s or husband’s benefits withheld because of the employment of the old-age beneficiary represented 12 percent of the suspensions, while 11 percent were accounted for by the self-employment of the beneficiary or of the old-age beneficiary on whose earnings the wife’s or husband’s benefits are based.

At the end of 1954, beneficiaries whose benefits were withheld—ex- cluding child beneficiaries, for whom

data on withheld benefits are not available—represented 5.7 percent of all such beneficiaries entitled to bene- fits. This is the lowest percentage since monthly benefits were first pay- able and is about 1.1 percent less than that a year earlier. The liberalization in the retirement test has accelerated the decline in the percentage that persons with benefits withheld are of all beneficiaries entitled to benefits; by the end of February, the benefits of 290,000 beneficiaries were being withheld—about 4.7 percent of all who were entitled to benefits.

@ Fewer initial claims for benefits under the State unemployment insur- ance programs were filed in February than in any other month since October 1953. The total of slightly more than 1 million was 31.1 percent less than that in January. State in- sured unemployment in an average week was also less in February than in January, but the decline was less sharp—4.2 percent. While the drop in both initial claims and insured unemployment was largely seasonal, improved business activity in varied industries helped reduce claims loads.

Unemployed workers who received benefit payments in an average week in February numbered 1.7 million, about the same as in January. The average weekly payment for total un- employment dropped 6 cents, to $25.06, and total benefits paid under the programs amounted to $163 mil- lion or about $8 million less than in January.

Civilian labor force,'? total (in thousands) ._......__.__-_-__----_------- 63, 321

ER tte ee tp Se I cc oes chsineeerincties en enapenicctee Personal income ** (in billions; seasonally adjusted at annual rates), total_ Employees’ income___.-..-..--_---- Proprietors’ and rental income____-_-

February January February 1955 1955 1955 1954 1953

Personal interest income and dividends___....._...-.-.-.__-__--___-_-

Social insurance and related payments____..__..__.--.-__-__----_--__

Other income payments____.-___--_ Consumer price index**______________

1 Data relate to continental United States, except that personal income includes pay of Federal personnel stationed am

2 Bureau of the Census.

* Data from the Office of Business Economics, Department of Com-

Calendar year

63,497 63,725 64,468 63,815

59,938 60,150 60,055 61,238 62,213 3,383 3,347 3,670 3,230 1,602 $292.4 $291.4 $283.0 $286.5 $286.1 200.8 200.2 194.7 197.2 200.0

Frebinbin safarl cosa enn etre aR A A Sn Pee 49.9 49.5 50.0 48.7 49.0 24.7 24.7 23.0 24.3 22.8 Aen ap aera ato ho ar aS a a al 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.4 11.9 11.9 10.2 10. 2 9.2 ir ansinasun ah tueipduibianieaamiaeehiaaaasdgep amanda dddiasenanaees 2.7 2.7 2.8 3.8 2.9 Pe ee ee eh eT 114.3 114.3 115.0 114.8 114.4 merce. Components differ from those published by the Department road. since they have been regrouped; for definitions, see the Bulletin,

September 1954, page 34, table 1.

* Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Social Security

. . ae ee hOhCLCUe Co


Octw Orr OM arm ww wm Mm



Why Do Beneficiaries Retire? Who Among Them Return to Work?

by Marcaret L. STECKER*

Studies made in the 1940's indicated that most retired workers who are beneficiaries under the old-age and survivors insurance program do not leave their jobs because they want to; if their health permits and there is a market for their services, they

would rather continue in gainful employment.

The 1951

national survey included additional information about the retirement of old-age insurance beneficiaries and their reem- ployment that tends to support these findings.

HE principal reason for retire- ment’ given by former workers who receive old-age insurance benefits is inability to continue in em- ployment because of sickness, acci- dent, the infirmities of age, and other incapacities. Practically half say that they left their jobs of their own accord because they were no longer able to work or that their jobs were terminated by the employer because he thought they were no longer able to perform the tasks expected of them. A fifth of all the men and women who were paid their first benefits be- tween January 1940 and September 1950 later worked regularly full time for 6 or more consecutive months, and when interviewed at the end of 1951 a tenth were still working full time. Two in 5 beneficiaries reported that during the 12 months preceding the interview they had been employed at some kind of job for longer or shorter periods or that, though unemployed, they were able to work and wanted a job.

*Division of Program Analysis, Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance.

1“Retirement” as used in this article means termination of last covered em- ployment before payment of first old- age insurance benefit. For the great majority of beneficiaries, termination of last covered employment before first benefit payment indicates that their working days are over. They are retired not only in the sense of not earning in covered employment more than the max- imum amount permitted while drawing benefits under the Social Security Act but are, in fact, out of the labor force for good. For most of them the month of the first benefit payment and the month of entitlement are the same; therefore, “entitlement” is sometimes used here interchangeably with “payment of first benefit.”

Bulletin, May 1955

The reasons men and women stop working in covered employment and become old-age beneficiaries, and the bearing these reasons for retirement have on their reemployment, are of more than passing interest. The growing number of older persons in the population and the increasing public concern about their prob- lems—personal, social, economic— call for facts on which to base policies and build programs to meet their par- ticular needs. Information about the availability of retired workers for em- ployment is important not only to those who think in terms of the in- dividual’s welfare but also to the in- dustries that might use the services of the aged.

A study of the reasons elderly men and women had left their last covered employment before their entitlement to old-age benefits and the nature and extent of their postretirement employment was part of the national survey conducted by the Bureau of Old-Age and Survivors Insurance in 1951. At the end of that year em- ployees of the Bureau interviewed in their homes more than 15,000 retired workers * who were old-age benefici-

2? The sample also included 2,553 widows aged 65 and over who, added to the 15,108 retired workers entitled to old-age bene- fits on their own wage records, made up the total of 17,661 old-age and survivors insurance beneficiaries in the 1951 na- tional survey of beneficiary resources. For a description of the survey and of the characteristics of the beneficiaries, as well as other findings of the study, see the Bulletin, August 1952, June and Au- gust 1953, and April and August 1954. Reports on earlier local surveys made between 1941 and 1949 have also been published in the Bulletin.

aries. These men and women—living in every State of the Union and repre- senting entitlements in every year between January 1940 and September 1950, every type of employment covered by the Social Security Act before January 1951, and at every economic level—are a fair cross sec- tion of persons aged 65 and over who had previously been employed in in- dustry and commerce.

The interviewers recorded the rea- sons the beneficiaries gave for job terminations and their answers to specific questions about their subse- quent reemployment. The reasons for termination have been grouped for this analysis according to whether the beneficiary himself decided to stop working (quit job) or his em- ployer initiated his job termination (lost job). Postretirement employ- ment has been analyzed to show how many beneficiaries who had left their preretirement covered jobs for spec- ified reasons worked full time there- after and how many worked at all during the survey year.’ Particular attention has been devoted to the con- nection, if any, between the reasons they gave for their retirement and their reemployment, estimates of their current work capacities, and attitudes toward employment.

In September 1950 all restrictions were removed from the amount of covered earnings that employed in- dividuals aged 75 and over could have while drawing old-age benefits. At the same time the covered wages that beneficiaries under age 75 could have without benefit suspension were raised from $14.99 to $50 a month.‘

*The survey year was a period of 12 consecutive calendar months ended in October, November, or December 1951, or in January 1952, depending on the date of the interview.

*Beginning in January 1951, when most nonfarm self-employment became covered under the 1950 amendments, an- nual earnings of $600 were permitted without benefit suspension for self- employed persons under age 75.

As a result, about 2 percent of all the retired men and women workers in the 1951 survey were paid benefits without termination of their covered employment. They are included in table 1, but most of this article re- lates to beneficiaries who had ac- tually left covered jobs before being paid their first benefits, although some earned more than $50 in 1 or more months during the survey year and had corresponding benefit sus- pensions.”

Reasons for Retirement

The findings of the 1951 survey of old-age and survivors insurance bene- ficiaries confirm. the conclusion of earlier studies that relatively few re- tired workers quit their jobs while they are in good health, because they want to. Only 1 in 25 told the inter- viewer that he had stopped working to have more leisure or because he thought he had worked long enough (table 1).

Some beneficiaries who said they had quit because they were no longer able to work (41 percent of the men, 46 percent of the women had suf- fered an acute illness or accident, others were chronically disabled, and still others were neither ill nor dis- abled but had found their work too hard or their strength unequal to the demands on it; they were tired and had stopped forarest. An additional 7 percent of the men and 4 percent of the women had been dropped by the employer because he thought them no longer able to work.

Next to health conditions the rea- son for retiring most frequently re- ported by beneficiaries was that their jobs had been discontinued by the employer—for example, there was a reduction in force, the work was re- organized, or the employer went out of business or moved to another lo- cality. One in 5 men and women was in this group whose jobs had been

5In most of the earlier Bulletin articles reporting findings of the 1951 national survey, only beneficiaries with no benefit suspensions during the survey year were considered. Retired workers with no benefit suspensions constituted 89 per- cent of all the retired workers in the survey. Thus the figures for all bene- ficiaries—those with and without benefit suspensions—are weighted heavily by those with no benefit suspensions.

discontinued. Discontinuance of the job is a normal cause of labor turn- over for workers of any age. Other normal causes of labor turnover are dismissal by the employer for reasons other than impaired work capacity (6 percent of the men and 5 percent of the women had lost their jobs for these “other reasons’), quitting to take or look for another job (4 per- cent of the men, 3 percent of the women), and quitting for a variety of other reasons (6 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women had left of their own accord because of home responsibilities, various circum- stances associated with their work, and so forth).

Finally there were the beneficiaries (11 percent of the men, 6 percent of the women) dismissed because they had reached the company retirement age. Not all of this group were re- ceiving company or union pensions.

Sex of Beneficiaries

Relatively more women than men had quit their jobs, largely because more women than men had stopped working for reasons of health or other incapacity or had retired voluntarily for so-cailed “other” reasons. The “other” reasons for which the women had quit more frequently than the men were connected with home re- sponsibilities: to give full-time care to a sick relative (husband, sister, father), to keep house for a son or daughter, to look after a grandchild, or to perform similar duties. About the same proportion of men and women had lost their jobs because the jobs were discontinued, but per- centagewise only half as many women as men had been dismissed because they had reached the company re- tirement age.

While both the retired men and the retired women had, of course, worked in covered employment, their occupa- tions in general had been different. The men were more apt than the women to have been craftsmen or la- borers, and the women were more apt to have been light factory operatives or sales, clerical, and service workers. These differences between the occu- pations of the men and women may be reflected in differences in the type of business organizations for which

they worked, in the degree of strength of their labor organizations, and in other factors that have a bearing on company personnel policies, pro- grams, and practices. Thus the fact that relatively more men than women had been dismissed because of age may be due, in part at least, to their more extensive employment by com- panies that have compulsory retire- ment ages. Occupational differences may also partly explain the fact that, relatively, a few more men than women had been dismissed by the employer for work incapacity.

Eligibility Status

Under the 1939 amendments to the Social Security Act, workers reach- ing age 65 in September 1950 (the third quarter of the year) required 27 quarters of coverage’ to be fully insured and qualify for old-age ben- efits. Workers reaching age 75 in that month required 7 quarters of coverage; between the ages of 65 and 75 workers required 7-26 quarters of coverage, while those aged 76 and over in September 1950 required only 6 quarters. Under the 1950 amend- ments all workers aged 65 and over became fully insured in September 1950 if they had 6 quarters of cover- age.’

Consequently many workers who previously had had insufficient cov- ered employment to qualify for ben- efits then became entitled. Their sixth quarter of coverage might have been acquired in any calendar quar- ter since April 1, 1938. Some of them had worked in noncovered employ- ment after the termination of their covered employment; some had been out of the labor force a long time. They were the disabled whose covered employment had been prematurely terminated, the in-and-outs, the war workers, the individuals who had had

*A “quarter of coverage” is any calen- dar quarter after January 1, 1937, in which a worker was paid $50 or more in covered employment. The quarters of coverage required are not necessarily consecutive.

*The 6-quarters-of-coverage provision remained in effect until July 1, 1954.

*Under the 1939 amendments persons aged 65 and over in the first half of 1940 were fully insured with only 6 quarters of coverage. Persons attaining age 65 thereafter needed an additional quarter of coverage for each 2 elapsed quarters.

Social Security

Table 1.—Percentage distribution of retired workers at end of survey year 1951 by reason for termination of last covered employment before first benefit payment, by benefit status during year and eligibility status

All beneficiaries

Beneficiaries with one or

Beneficiaries with no benefit | more benefit suspensions

suspensions Reason for termination of employment | ; 1939 eli- | 1950 eli- ! 1939 eli- | 1950 eli- " 1939 eli- | 1950 eli- Total gibles ! gibles 2 Total gibles ! gibles?2 | Total gibles ! gibles 2 Retired men workers } | | EE Se Eee ee ae ea ee 12, 283 10, 840 1, 443 10, 801 9, 491 1, 310 1, 482 | 1, 349 133 Total percent__._._..- =i talenablichsona peeled dniecenebentenbohoiadie 100.0} 100.0 | 100.0 100.0} 100.0} 100.0/ 100.0] 100.0] 100.0 Employment not terminated ‘___-_- ae Pa 2 Pa Ry 1.6 1.4 3.3 1.8 1.6 | 3.4 . | eer 2.3 ee ee 1.4 | 12 2.2 15 1.4 "SS Coad wae 4 Earned no more than permitted vO Ee eS Ra re ae eS 2 1.1 3] 2 1.0 Ft oe | 2.3 ES SUI «ci nnccasacduteanndantntitemnanbndadinet 98. 4 | 98. 6 96. 7 98. 2 98. 4 96. 6 99.8 | 100. 0 | 7.7 Sen ee BOFS.T rae Sin nea aad 54.3 | 54.3 54.3 55.9 56. 0 55. 1 43.0 42.6 | 46.6 LESS, ODETTE PETA OTE Te 40.8; 40.9; 40.0) 432] 434 42.1 23.3| 23.7] 19.5 Retired voluntarily in good health ¢...........--..-.2222222 2 3.8 | 4.11} 1.6 3.9 4.3 1.5 2.9 | 3.0 2.3 For other kind of a" SS ee) PE Pee ie RE 4.0 | 3.7 | 6.4 3.5 3.3 5. 4 | 7.4 | 6.6 | 15.8 Other 8 vee aR Cee PE ST NE. 5.7 | 5.6 6.4 5.2 | 5.1 6.1 9.3 | 9.3 | 9.0 dba nsesk actiancntieinnntaiiabtnbiiedal ie asia 44.0} 44.2 42.3 42.3| 424| 41.4 56. 8 57.3 | 51.1 RE a a ee ee ae eee eee 20.5 19.5 28. 5 | 18.5 g 497, 2 27.9 4 34.9 | 35. 0 | 33. 8 Reached company retirem ent age_- ESTEE aa ee 10.7 11.9 1.2 | 11.3 12.7 1.1 6.3 6.7 2.3 Considered unable to work by employer.__...........-.-......- | 6.6 6.7 5.8 7.2 7.4 6.1 2.1 2.0 | 3.0 CN dgelebcomagswtecarencdsidans apbenem peaks iminnnaaaesepeieA 6.2 6.2 6.9 | 5.2 5.1 6. é 13.5 | 13. 6 12.0 | Retired women workers IE cinco. sian b-chcrw ied heaiiobins ebeonanaer naan AM 2, 725 2, 073 | 652| 2,518 1, 908 | 610 | 207 165 42 I ai iiciinsciuk init anpemninteneniatielniaidahedlloldonaabawtuneedall 100. 0 100.0 100.0 100. 0 160. 0 100.0 | 100. 0 | 100. 0 | *100.0 ee Se a ee eee 1.3 1.1 1.8 1.2 9 | 2.0 | 2.4 1S eer ee ER re Seen eet Se eee en | .4 .4 2 | .4 5 pee Dee ae ee - SPGKEER Earned no more than permitted amount..._.............--.---.-- | 9 mi 1.7 8 5 1.8 | 2.4 SS een oe PE CR RI OE ois idica ncireectieniipicdesenmiacedcncepul 98. 7 98. 9 | 98. 2 | 98. 8 99.1 | 98.0 | 97.6 | 97. 0 | “100.0 0 Ae, RE Te a ee TO os RE Oe 64.5 64.9} 63.2] 66.1 66.8| 641] 444] 43.0 50. 0.0 | ena a re | 46.3 47.4| 43.1 48.3 49.5| 44.8 22. 2 23.0| °19.0 Retired voluntarily in good health ¢.._--.....-..-...2..-...--- 4.0 4.2 3.1 | 4.0 4.4 | 3.0 3.4 3.0 | *4.8 For other kind of job’ Ee Pe IE FOOL EER } 3.0 2.4 4.8 | a7 2.1 | 4.4 6.3 | 5.5 | *9. 5 NE ip cis ann banew ens lancern aeghandisnnavtagentadmamtel 11.2 10.9 | 12.3 | 11.1 10.8 | 12.0 12. 6 | 11.5 *16.7 a HORE ON on TRA nl CEES 34.2 | 34.0 35.0 | 32.7 | 32.3 33.9 53.1 | 53.9 | *50.0 ES on. cacadngic abo ennhink Namladaagasaeleneliaaa eel 19.3 17. 5 23.8 18.1 | 16.5 | 23.0 33.8 | 33.3 | "35.7 Reached company ES eS AI Ts CA TIT: §. 5 | 6.7 1.8 5.7 6.9 2.0 3.9 SY ee Considered unable to work by employer............-..-...---- 4.1 | 4.6 2.3 4.2 4.8 2.5 2.4 3.0 sami arate le iottndadvkquass-tpackbhewedsakduenenivarwennns 5.4 4.8 7.1 4.7 4.1 6.6 13.0 2.7 "14.3

*Percentage distribution computed on small base and therefore subject to large sampling variation.

1 Beneficiaries whose benefits were awarded under the 1939 amendments to the Social Security Act.

2 Beneficiaries whose benefits were awarded for September 1950 under the 1950 amendments to the Social Security Act.

3 Number reporting on all items in this table. Because the number reporting on different combinations of items varies slightly from one table to another, there may be slight variations in numbers and percentages that apparently should be the same.

4 Beneficiaries entitled in September 1950. Effective that month the retire- ment test was liberalized to permit fully insured workers aged 75 and over to receive benefits regardless of earnings and those aged 65-74 to receive benefits if covered earnings were no more than $50 a month. Before September 1950 the maximum amount of covered wages permitted without suspension of benefits was $14.99 for all beneficiaries.

5 Beneficiaries who quit because of sickness or accident or because they were tired or thought that their work was too hard for them or that they were too old to. continue working,

6 Beneficiaries who retired in good health to have more leisure or because they thought they had worked long enough.

7 Beneficiaries who quit a full-time covered job hoping to find a different kind of work or to take a part-time covered job or noncovered employment.

8 Beneficiaries who quit after a quarrel with the employer or fellow employees, during a strike, because they were unwilling to adjust to another kind of assigned work or were needed at home, and so forth.

* Beneficiaries who lost their jobs when there was a reduction in force, work was reorganized, the employer went out of business or moved to another locality, and so forth.

10 Beneficiaries who lost their jobs for reasons they did not know or did not remember.

part-time or seasonal jobs in cov- ered employment now and then.

The men and women in the 1951 survey who qualified for benefits only as a result of the 1950 amendments became entitled in the one month of September of that year; those who met the 1939 requirements became entitled in any month between Jan- uary 1940 and September 1950. Half of all the entitlements in the first 9

Bulletin, May 1955

months of 1950 were “1950 eligibles” that is, they had at least 6 quarters of coverage but not enough to be fully insured under the provisions of the 1939 amendments.

All the elderly workers included in table 1 who drew their first old-age benefits without terminating their covered employment became entitled in September 1950. Four-fifths of them were 75-year-olds who, under

the 1950 amendments effective that month, could be paid benefits regard- less of the amount of their covered earnings. The others were younger workers whose covered earnings did not exceed $50 a month.’ Most of

® Retired workers who before September 1950 drew their benefits while earning no more than $14.99 a month are not included.

Table 2.—Percentage distribution of retired workers at end of survey year 1951 by reason for termination of last covered employment before first benefit

payment, by age at termination '!

Age at termination of employment

Reason for termination of 1 employment ?

Retired men workers

; | Total Under) 6064 | 65 | 66-60 | 70-74 | 75-79

201 | 2,118

80 and Median over age |

2,422 | 4,146 | 2,268

ESE A 12, 035 738 _ (ae Total percent..................--- 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 67 Quit job. ...............-......-.-.---] 552] 682) 62.3) 444/ 55.4) 583] 506/ 69.0) 67 Unable to work ..| 41.5 40.8 | 43.6) 31.4] 421] 458) 491/| 59.9) 68 Retired voluntarily in good health 39} 15] 28) 40 38) 49/ 45] 3.5 68 For other kind of job..__..........-. 41) 149] 721) 39] 36] 23 al set 65 [eeeicabanagesecetonspypencosnonsnte 5.8) 109) 68/ 51) 59/ 53) 47] 49) 67 I a ce BAR RE 44.8} 31.8| 30.7] 55.6] 446! 41.7| 40.4] 31.0 67 Job discontinued................--- 20.9 2.4 25.3! 178| 222) 197) 160! 120! 67 Reached omoeny retirement age | ) 3.6; @1/ 8&7 7.6 8.3 4.9 65 Considered unable to work by em- is canna bencinoneeedenahas 6.7 3.0 5.1 5.1 6.5 8.7 11.4 11.3 68 Is Bittdantitinncntivonseastudeon 6.3 &5| 5&8] 66) 7.3 5.7) 47 2.8 67 Retired women workers | IO ons cab vncinmeasabond 2, 67: 129 694 519 855 | 374 91 ff See Total percent. .............------ 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 *100.0 *100.0 65 | SEO SERS Ca 65.2| 71.3| 602| 60.7) 643) 663/549 / 9750, 665 Unable to work gecccococs--o---| 4690) 44391 @7| CS] 0] 1 (947.3) 688! 66 Retired voluntarily in goed health 40; 1.6 29) 64! 44 } 32] 22) %2 65 For other kind of job... .........- 3.0) 62 45) 25 Te 7) eee *65 See SR .---| 1.4] 194] 131] 116] 105] 8&8] °%5/- 65 ERE ea Sane OL ae 34.8 | 227/| 308 393 357, 337) 451 9250) 66 Job discontinued __..........-.----- 19.6} 225/ 192/ 181| 22| 193) *220 *188| 66 Reached omocer retirement age 5.6/ 1.6) 35! 123] 49 3.5 | 6.6 65 Considered unable to work by em- | a scadingtendaecbasebeeaad OD Tocccnes | 33) 37] 46 St i. y a 67 GE, Dididhvnncdeteicucascdusuined 65} 47/ 49) &2] 60] 51] %8! %2 66

*Percentage distribution and median age com- puted on small base and therefore subject to large sampling variation.

! Excludes beneficiaries whose last covered em- ployment before their first benefit payment had not been terminated. those who continued to work while receiving benefits qualified under the 1939 amendments.

There were some similarities and some differences in the reasons for their retirement given by the i939 eligibles and the 1950 eligibles. Thus while the overall proportions of bene- ficiaries who had quit and of those who had lost their jobs were much the same, whether they qualified under the 1939 or the 1950 amendments, the proportions who had quit or lost their jobs for specified reasons were not always the same. For example, rela- tively half as many men with 1950 eligibility as with 1939 eligibility had retired voluntarily in good health, and relatively only a tenth as many 1950 eligibles as 1939 eligibles had lost their jobs when they reached the company retirement age. On the other hand, proportionately many

? For definitions of reasons see footnotes to table 1. 3 Number reporting on all items in this table. Because the number reporting on different combi- nations of items varies slightly from one table to another, there may be slight variations in numbers and percentages that apparently should be the same.

more 1950 eligibles than 1939 eligi- bles had left their last covered em- ployment before their first benefit payment for other kinds of work or because their jobs had been discon- tinued.

Incapacity for work was as im- portant a reason for retirement among the 1950 eligibles as among the 1939 eligibles. This similarity in experience is not surprising when it is remembered that the 1950 eligibles had been terminating their covered employment over the same period as the 1939 eligibles although they had to wait, sometimes years, before the 1950 amendments made it possible for them to qualify for benefits.

Benefit Status

Retired workers whose benefits were suspended a month or more during the survey year said they had left

covered employment originally for reasons different from those given by the men and women whose benefits were paid throughout the entire 12- month period. This difference was to be expected in view of the fact that for those under age 75 most suspen- sions occurred because the benefici- aries had returned to covered employ- ment and earned more than $50 a month.” Twelve percent of the men and 8 percent of the women had benefit suspensions during the sur- vey year.”

Of the beneficiaries with suspen- sions, slightly more than 2 in 5 had retired of their own accord, but of those with no suspensions 56 per- cent of the men and 66 percent of the women had quit. Relatively only half as many beneficiaries with suspen- sions as with no suspensions had quit because they were unable to work. On the other hand, twice as many with suspensions as with no suspensions had lost their jobs because the jobs were discontinued or they were dis- missed by the employer for other reasons.

In general, therefore, it may be said that most of the beneficiaries whose earnings in covered employment in any month of the survey year were sufficient to cause a suspension of benefits had originally left covered employment for ordinary turnover reasons; they hoped and expected to return to work. Most of the benefi- ciaries with no suspensions had left because they were unable to continue working, or had retired in good health because they wanted to, or had reached the company retirement age; by and large they were out of the labor force for good.

10A few suspensions during the sur- vey year were for earlier covered employ- ment earnings or were penalties for violating certain provisions of the Social Security Act. A few additional suspen- sions may have occurred in 1952 because of self-employment earnings in 1951 ex- ceeding $600, which were not reported until the beneficiaries’ income-tax re- turns were made in March 1952.

11 Some beneficiaries whose benefits were not suspended during the survey year may, of course, have had suspensions in earlier years or in years following the period covered by the 1951 survey. Em- ployment after the original termination of covered employment up to the time of the survey is discussed later in this article.

Social Security

Age at Job Termination

The great majority of beneficiaries were at least 65 years old when they retired; 8 in 10 men and 7 in 10 women whose jobs had been termi- nated before their first benefits were paid reported they had been aged 65 and over at the time. The distribu- tion of beneficiaries by age at job ter- mination is shown below.

| Retired workers

Age Men | Women

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