Tag Archives: social security benefits

How Much Will I Get From Social Security?

SSA-image-3My Comments: Next month I start a series of workshops about Social Security. I’m somewhat fearful since this past weekend, I had questions from a couple of folks and while I thought I knew the answer, I wasn’t sure. One solution is to have you become a free member of an organization called the American Financial Education Alliance, or AFEA. Click on the name or image here, and you will find dozens of free calculators, including Social Security. If you’re in the Gainesville, Florida area, you’ll find I’m a Chapter President. The game plan is for me to help anyone better understand their financial circumstances.

By Dan Caplinger, Published May 22, 2016 on fool.com

Most Americans expect to get at least some income from Social Security when they retire. Figuring out exactly how much you’ll get from it isn’t as simple as you’d hope, because the calculation of your benefit amount takes into account a career’s worth of earnings history and other decisions that you make regarding your retirement. Nevertheless, you can estimate how much you’ll get from Social Security either by figuring out average earnings by hand or by using a selection of available Social Security calculators for the task.

Doing a manual calculation of your expected Social Security benefits isn’t simple. You have to start by looking at your entire career earnings history. You have to know the maximum wage base limits on which Social Security payroll taxes were charged for each of those years, and you’ll have to apply adjustments to index your earnings for inflation. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to take the 35 individual years that have the highest inflation-adjusted earnings, find the average, and then divide by 12 to get average indexed monthly earnings.

From there, you’ll use a formula to determine your primary insurance amount. The formula changes every year, but for those who turn 62 in 2016, take 90% of the first $856, 32% of the amount between $856 and $5,157, and 15% of any excess over $5,157. Add that up, and you’ll have your monthly check amount if you take retirement benefits at full retirement age. For instance, if you earned an inflation adjusted average of $2,500 per month throughout a 35-year career, then your primary insurance amount would be 90% of $856, plus 32% of $1,644, for a total of $1,296 per month.

Finally, that amount can vary depending on when you take benefits. Claiming at age 62 can cut your benefit by 25%, while claiming at 70 can boost it by 32%. In the example above, that means you’d get $972 at age 62, or $1,711 at age 70.

Fortunately, you don’t have to use do your own calculations. Several calculators exist to help you figure it out for you, with varying degrees of complexity.

This simple calculator simply has you enter average annual income, current age, and the expected age at which you anticipate taking benefits. It also assumes that inflation will boost Social Security payments by a fixed percentage each year between now and when you claim your benefits. The results tell you how much you’ll get and what percentage of your current income will be replaced by Social Security.

In addition, the Social Security Administration offers its own calculators to help you. The Social Security Quick Calculator is similar to the simple calculator above, taking current income, extrapolating back, and estimating future earnings. It makes the most assumptions, and so its results won’t be very precise if those assumptions prove incorrect. The SSA’s Online Calculator allows you to enter more of your own personal data, including earnings for each past year. This will provide a more accurate estimate based on actual work history, but it still assumes future work history. The Detailed Calculator requires separate installation on your computer, but it gives the most complete picture of all benefits available.

The SSA even offers calculators that tap directly into your work history. The Retirement Estimator uses the SSA’s own records of how much you earned to fill in blanks that other calculators make you do yourself.

Finally, Social Security provides you with a statement that will go through estimates of benefits for you, your spouse, and your children under certain circumstances. Between retirement, disability, and survivor benefits, your Social Security statement has a wealth of information to help you figure out how much you and your family will get from the program.

Estimating your Social Security benefits isn’t the easiest thing in the world. With these tools, however, you can come up with solid estimates of your future benefits. Taking the time to use these calculators or to do your own manual calculations will give you the basic information you need in order to plan for your retirement years in a more informed way.

10 Things You Must Know About Social Security

SSA-image-2My Comments: Next month I start a new job; teaching folks about Social Security. Actually, it’s a function of my need to keep busy and an apparent ability to share 40 years of experience as a financial planner with people who need to know about this very important financial element of their lives. This article, which appeared recently on Kiplinger Today is a great summary.

By Rachel L. Sheedy, May 12, 2016

For many Americans, Social Security benefits are the bedrock of retirement income. Maximizing that stream of income is critical to funding your retirement dreams.

The rules for claiming benefits can be complex, and recent changes to Social Security rules created a lot of confusion. But this guide will help you wade through the details. By educating yourself about Social Security, you can ensure that you claim the maximum amount to which you are entitled. Here are ten essentials you need to know.

1. Your age when you collect Social Security has a big impact on the amount of money you ultimately get from the program. The key age to know is your full retirement age. For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. It gradually climbs toward 67 if your birthday falls between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement age is 67. You can collect Social Security as soon as you turn 62, but taking benefits before full retirement age results in a permanent reduction — as much as 25% of your benefit if your full retirement age is 66.

Age also comes into play with kids: Minor children of Social Security beneficiaries can be eligible for a benefit. Children up to age 18, or up to age 19 if they are full-time students who haven’t graduated from high school, and disabled children older than 18 may be able to receive up to half of a parent’s Social Security benefit.

2. To be eligible for Social Security benefits, you must earn at least 40 “credits.” You can earn up to four credits a year, so it takes ten years of work to qualify for Social Security. In 2016, you must earn $1,260 to get one Social Security work credit and $5,040 to get the maximum four credits for the year.

Your benefit is based on the 35 years in which you earned the most money. If you have fewer than 35 years of earnings, each year with no earnings will be factored in at zero. You can increase your benefit by replacing those zero years, say, by working longer, even if it’s just part-time. But don’t worry — no low-earning year will replace a higher-earning year. The benefit isn’t based on 35 consecutive years of work, but the highest-earning 35 years. So if you decide to phase into retirement by going part-time, you won’t affect your benefit at all if you have 35 years of higher earnings. But if you make more money, your benefit will be adjusted upward, even if you are still working while taking your benefit.

There is a maximum benefit amount you can receive, though it depends on the age you retire. For someone at full retirement age in 2016, the maximum monthly benefit is $2,639. You can estimate your own benefit by using Social Security’s online Retirement Estimator.

3. One of the most attractive features of Social Security benefits is that every year the government adjusts the benefit for inflation. Known as a cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, this inflation protection can help you keep up with rising living expenses during retirement. The COLA, which is automatic, is quite valuable; buying inflation protection on a private annuity can cost a pretty penny.

Because the COLA is calculated based on changes in a federal consumer price index, the size of the COLA depends largely on broad inflation levels determined by the government. For example, in 2009, beneficiaries received a generous COLA of 5.8%. But retirees learned a hard lesson in 2010 and 2011, when prices stagnated as a result of the recession. There was no COLA in either of those years. For 2012, the COLA came back at 3.6%, but dropped to less than 2% in the next few years. But bad news came again this year: Prices were flat, and thus there was no COLA for 2016. The COLA for the following year is announced in October.

4. Marriage brings couples an advantage when it comes to Social Security. Namely, one spouse can take what’s called a spousal benefit, worth up to 50% of the other spouse’s benefit. Put simply, if your benefit is worth $2,000 but your spouse’s is only worth $500, your spouse can switch to a spousal benefit worth $1,000 — bringing in $500 more in income per month.

The calculation changes, however, if benefits are claimed before full retirement age. If you claim your spousal benefit before your full retirement age, you won’t get the full 50%. If you take your own benefit early and then later switch to a spousal benefit, your spousal benefit will still be reduced.

Note: You cannot apply for a spousal benefit until your spouse has applied for his or her own benefit.

5. If your spouse dies before you, you can take a so-called survivor benefit. If you are at full retirement age, that benefit is worth 100% of what your spouse was receiving at the time of his or her death (or 100% of what your spouse would have been eligible to receive if he or she hadn’t yet taken benefits). A widow or widower can start taking a survivor benefit at age 60, but the benefit will be reduced because it’s taken before full retirement age.

If you remarry before age 60, you cannot get a survivor benefit. But if you remarry after age 60, you may be eligible to receive a survivor benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record. Eligible children can also receive a survivor benefit, worth up to 75% of the deceased’s benefit.

6. What if you were married, but your spouse is now an ex-spouse? Just because you’re divorced doesn’t mean you’ve lost the ability to get a benefit based on your former spouse’s earnings record. You can still qualify to receive a benefit based on his or her record if you were married at least ten years, you are 62 or older, and single.

Like a regular spousal benefit, you can get up to 50% of an ex-spouse’s benefit — less if you claim before full retirement age. And the beauty of it is that your ex never needs to know because you apply for the benefit directly through the Social Security Administration. Taking a benefit on your ex’s record has no effect on his or her benefit or the benefit of your ex’s new spouse. And unlike a regular spousal benefit, if your ex qualifies for benefits but has yet to apply, you can still take a benefit on the ex’s record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

Note: Ex-spouses can also take a survivor benefit if their ex has died first, and like any survivor benefit, it will be worth 100% of what the ex-spouse received. If you remarry after age 60, you will still be eligible for the survivor benefit.

7. Once you hit full retirement age, you can choose to wait to take your benefit. There’s a big bonus to delaying your claim — your benefit will grow by 8% a year up until age 70. Any cost-of-living adjustments will be included, too, so you don’t forgo those by waiting.

While a spousal benefit doesn’t include delayed retirement credits, the survivor benefit does. By waiting to take his benefit, a high-earning husband, for example, can ensure that his low-earning wife will receive a much higher benefit in the event he dies before her. That extra 32% of income could make a big difference for a widow whose household is down to one Social Security benefit.

In some cases, a spouse who is delaying his benefit but still wants to bring some Social Security income into the household can restrict his application to a spousal benefit only. To use this strategy, the spouse restricting his or her application must be at full retirement age and he or she must have been born on January 1, 1954, or earlier. So the lower-earning spouse, say the wife, applies for benefits on her own record. The husband then applies for a spousal benefit only, and he receives half of his wife’s benefit while his own benefit continues to grow. When he’s 70, he can switch to his own, higher benefit. Exes at full retirement age who were born on January 1, 1954, or earlier can use the same strategy — they can apply to restrict their application to a spousal benefit and let their own benefit grow.

8. There aren’t many times in life you can take a mulligan. But Social Security offers you the chance for a do-over. Say you claimed your benefit, but now wish you had waited to take it. Within the first 12 months of claiming benefits, you can “withdraw the application.” You will need to pay back all the benefits you received, including any spousal benefits based on your record. But you can later restart your benefit at a higher amount.

Early claimers have another opportunity for a do-over: They can choose to suspend their benefit at full retirement age. Say you took your benefit at age 62. Once you turn 66, you can suspend your benefit. You don’t have to pay back what you have received, and your benefit will earn delayed retirement credits of 8% a year. Wait to restart your benefit at age 70, and your monthly payment will get a 32% boost — which could erase much of the reduction from claiming early.

9. Most people know that you pay tax into the Social Security Trust Fund, but did you know that you may also have to pay tax on your Social Security benefits once you start receiving them? Benefits lost their tax-free status in 1984, and the income thresholds for triggering tax on benefits haven’t been increased since then.

As a result, it doesn’t take a lot of income for your benefits to be pinched by Uncle Sam. For example, a married couple with a combined income of more than $32,000 may have to pay income tax on up to 50% of their benefits. Higher earners may have to pay income tax on up to 85% of their benefits.

10. Bringing in too much money can cost you if you take Social Security benefits early while you are still working. With what is commonly known as the earnings test, you will forfeit $1 in benefits for every $2 you make over the earnings limit, which in 2016 is $15,720. Once you are past full retirement age, the earnings test disappears and you can make as much money as you want with no impact on benefits.

But the good news is that any benefits forfeited because earnings exceed the limits are not lost forever. At full retirement age, the Social Security Administration will refigure your benefits going forward to take into account benefits lost to the test. For example, if you claim benefits at 62 and over the next four years lose one full year of benefits to the earnings test, at age 66 your benefits will be recomputed — and increased — as if you had taken benefits three years early, instead of four. That basically means the lifetime reduction in benefits would be 20% rather than 25%.

Ready to retire? Don’t rush your Social Security start date

My Comments: A major determinant for when you should start taking your Social Security benefits comes down to when you plan to die. If you plan to die soon, then start the payments as early as possible; if you plan to live to be 100, and have enough money now, then delay the start of payments as long as possible.

March 31, 2016

For most Americans, Social Security is a big part of their retirement income

An estimated 91% of Americans aged 65 or older receive Social Security benefits—the average annual benefit for a retiree is about $16,000. For most of these retirees (64%), Social Security represents a significant portion of their income. Even for affluent retirees (those aged 60–79 with at least $100,000 in financial assets), Social Security accounts for 29% of total retirement income, on average. Given that Social Security provides a base level of guaranteed income for most retirees, it’s an important benefit for investors and their advisors to consider when designing a comprehensive plan for retirement income.

By delaying Social Security, retirees can stretch their savings

In the past, the decision as to the “right” time to claim Social Security has often been based on a break-even analysis of a retiree’s expected benefits versus his or her life expectancy. That approach, however, ignores two key features of Social Security, namely: Once you start receiving it, it’s paid for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live, and is adjusted upward for inflation. A big concern for most retirees is the risk of outliving their savings.

For many retirees who can afford to do so, deferring Social Security for a few years (even past their “full retirement age”—defined by Social Security according to one’s birth year—to the maximum annual benefit at age 70) greatly increases their lifetime monthly benefit. Given that at age 65, more than 50% of women can expect to live past age 88 (and 50% of men past 85), delaying Social Security can provide powerful longevity protection.

Social Security acts like an inflation-protected annuity

The act of delaying the claiming of Social Security is analogous to purchasing an inflation-protected deferred income annuity. Benefits increase by up to 8% in real terms for every year that claiming is delayed. The chart below  demonstrates the effectiveness of a deferred claiming strategy both for increasing guaranteed income and for providing longevity protection. Also, in the case of a married couple, one of whom, for instance, delays claiming until age 70 (for maximum benefit), a surviving spouse receives the larger of the two Social Security benefits—thus further demonstrating Social Security’s role in protecting lifetime income.

Thoughtful claiming strategies can help retirees make the most of their benefits

A careful review of Social Security regulations, your financial situation, and any health considerations you may have are crucial to developing a strategy to maximize income during retirement. (Note that the regulations can be complex, and you may benefit from seeking professional advice.) For individuals in poor health or with little or no other financial resources, early Social Security claiming may be appropriate, but for most retirees, the increase in guaranteed income gained by deferring Social Security makes waiting to start benefits an appropriate strategy. The accompanying chart shows the potential impact on a couple’s lifetime Social Security income of three different approaches: both spouses claiming at 62 (the earliest possible age), a hybrid strategy where one spouse claims at age 62 while the other delays until age 70, or both spouses delaying until age 70 to accumulate the maximum amount of delayed retirement credits.

Do the recent changes in Social Security rules allow you to file and suspend?

Social Security cardMy Comments: A critical date is fast approaching for those of you who have not yet signed up to receive your Social Security benefits, for one reason or another.

This writer clearly knows his stuff and if you have questions of me, I’ll do my best to answer them. None of this may apply to you but if you think it does, find out soon. You only have a few days left.

Click on the image above and it’ll take you to the article.

BY Laurence Kotlikoff  April 11, 2016

 

Can I File and Suspend My Social Security Benefits?

SSA-image-2My Comments: This is a hot topic. No one likes to leave money laying on the table. Given the chance you will live longer than expected and don’t have the financial reserves you thought you might have, taking advantage of everything possible from the Social Security system is critical for many of us.

By Dan Caplinger Published April 10, 2016

Social Security has many complex provisions, and smart retirees have used some of those provisions over the years to create useful strategies to enhance their retirement income. One of those strategies is called file and suspend, and late last year, lawmakers identified the strategy as offering a loophole that they didn’t want to leave open. As a result, the file-and-suspend strategy will disappear soon, but there’s still an opportunity for some people to take advantage of the strategy before it goes away.

How the file-and-suspend strategy works

The idea behind using the file-and-suspend strategy was relatively simple. Under the laws governing Social Security, your spouse isn’t entitled to receive any spousal benefits based on your work history until you decide to file for your own retirement benefits. This isn’t a problem as long as you want to take your benefits now. However, many people would prefer to defer taking retirement benefits until a later date, letting them earn delayed retirement credits and boost their eventual monthly payments.

The file-and-suspend strategy allowed couples to get the best of both worlds. Under the filing part of the strategy, you would file for your benefits, thereby activating spousal benefits for your spouse. However, you would then immediately suspend your retirement benefits. The old rules allowed you to keep earning delayed retirement credits during the period of suspension. The net result was that one spouse could get benefits now, and the other could wait and get larger benefit checks later.

Why the file-and-suspend strategy is going away

Late last fall, lawmakers agreed to do away with the file-and-suspend strategy, characterizing it as an unintended loophole. Once the law goes into effect, if you suspend your benefits, your spouse will no longer be able to get spousal benefits based on your work history. That means that in order to activate spousal benefits, you’ll have to file and actually receive your retirement benefits, and you won’t be able to earn delayed retirement credits once you file.

The law’s effective date was set for six months after its passage. That works out to May 1, and because that’s a Sunday, most planners are recommending that people take action by April 29.

The problem is that you’re not eligible to file and suspend until you reach full retirement age, which is currently 66. Those who won’t have turned 66 by the late-April deadline therefore won’t have any opportunity to get the benefits of the file-and-suspend strategy.

However, if you are eligible, then you’ll be able to enjoy the advantages of filing and suspending even after the effective date of the law. Grandfathering provisions will allow your spouse to receive spousal benefits even if you’ve suspended your benefits — as long as you did so before the deadline. If you decide to unsuspend your benefits after the deadline, then that’s a one-time decision, and you won’t be able to unmake it.

What you can still use file and suspend for

Even after the new law takes effect, there are still situations in which filing and suspending benefits can make sense. The most common is if you filed for early benefits and later decide that you would prefer to have largely monthly payments, you can suspend those benefits once you reach full retirement age. You can then earn delayed retirement credits that will boost your benefit when you decide to start taking it again. Given that many people regret their decision to take early Social Security, this is an option that has some value.

Still, the main reason why most people used file and suspend will no longer work once May comes. At that point, the strategy will simply be the latest in a series of things people did to enhance their retirement income.

Grab This Social Security Benefit While You Still Can

My Comments: Social Security has for many years been a critical financial component in the lives of almost every citizen of the US who is aged 62 or older. I know it is for me and my wife.

Changes are going to happen to help maintain it’s viability as the population demographics change and society evolves. What you read below may confuse you, but if some of the variables described apply to you, you need to understand this rule change as it could mean lots of money for you, both good and bad.

Philip Moeller February 18,2016

Q: I plan to file for Social Security in November 2016. I will turn 66 on November 24, 2016, and my wife will turn 66 on February 24, 2017. We had planned to have my wife file a restricted application for Social Security as of February 2017 and, at age 70, switch to her retirement benefit. In consideration of changes to the law, will this option still be available to us as of February 2017? — Ken

A: Yes, this strategy will still be valid under the new law. Because your wife was already 62 at the start of 2016, she is grandfathered under the new regulations. Once you’ve filed for your benefit, she will be able at her full retirement age (FRA) to file a restricted application just for her spousal benefit and then at age 70 file for her own retirement benefit. Assuming it will be larger than her spousal benefit, she should receive an additional payment that is roughly equal to the amount by which her retirement benefit exceeds her spousal benefit.

Under the old rules, you would have been able to file and suspend at your FRA. That would have permitted her to file a restricted application and allowed both of you to defer your own retirement benefits and thus earn delayed retirement credits. The ability to file and suspend will no longer be provided to people who have not reached full retirement age by the end of April (April 29, to be exact, which is the last business day of the month).
SSA-image-2
These new changes add yet another layer of complexity to what was already a challenging set of Social Security claiming decisions. And wishing the system were simpler won’t make it so. Still, by asking the right questions, as Ken has done, it’s still possible to arrive at the best outcome.

The ‘Retirement Crisis’ That Isn’t

retirement_roadMy Comments: Social security payments to my wife and I are a critical element of the life we live. It can be argued that without those payments, we’d have scaled back in terms of what we spend for food and housing. The fact remains that given expectations of a monthly income from that source, our life is what it is.

That money does not disappear down a rat hole. It’s used to buy things and as such, it flows into the economy of Gainesville, Florida to a large extent. The same can be said of every household in the US that receives social security payments. Those dollars contribute to the gross national product of this country, and can be considered essential to the accumulating retirement accounts that will allow the next generation to retire with dignity.

You should read this in the context of what it would take to increase the viability of future social security payments beyond the currently expected ‘crisis’ date of 2033. See my EARLIER POST on this topic.

By Andrew G. Biggs December 29, 2015

Ask pretty much anyone and they’ll tell you: Americans are undersaving for retirement. It’s not just thought to be a few households falling through the cracks. Rather, there’s a perception that, after a “golden age” of traditional pensions that lasted from World War II until about 1970, most Americans won’t have nearly enough income in retirement to maintain their pre-retirement standards of living. Financial writer Jane Bryant Quinn states the view succinctly: “America’s retirement savings system has failed.” All the Democratic presidential candidates have proposed expanding Social Security benefits to address this “retirement crisis.”

But new data shed light on America’s retirement system, both how it compares with the systems in other countries and how retirement savings are developing over time. The results may surprise you.

On Dec. 1, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) updated its Pensions at a Glance survey of retirement saving in more than 30 countries. The United States’ Social Security program is indeed less generous than most OECD countries’ plans. Americans who earn the average wage each year of their careers will receive Social Security benefits equal to about 35 percent of the current average U.S. income. Note that comparing a country’s retirement benefits with that country’s current average income is different from a “replacement rate” that compares retirees’ benefits with their own pre-retirement earnings. Nevertheless, these data show that while Social Security is comparable to retirement programs in Britain (30 percent) and Canada (33 percent), it’s still below the OECD average of 53 percent.

But retirement income security is about more than just government benefits. It also includes private retirement saving and work in retirement, where the United States does very well. The total incomes of Americans age 65 or older are equal to 92 percent of the national average income, according to the OECD. The United States ranks 10th out of 32 OECD countries and above countries such as Sweden (86 percent), Germany (87 percent) and Denmark (77 percent). In absolute dollar terms, U.S. seniors have the second-highest average incomes in the world, behind tiny Luxembourg.

But what about working-age Americans? Hasn’t their retirement saving fallen? Using Federal Reserve and Social Security Administration data, I tallied the total assets Americans have built for retirement, including 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account balances and benefits accrued under traditional pensions and Social Security. As of 1996, the first year for which full data are available, Americans’ total retirement assets were equal to 2.7 times total personal incomes. By early 2015, retirement assets had risen to 4.1 times personal incomes.

In fact, the historical shift from traditional pensions to 401(k) plans has not reduced retirement saving, Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research recently concluded. It’s true that with 401(k)s, workers themselves bear the risks related to how their retirement funds are invested. But retirement saving is more widespread: More Americans have retirement plans today than did during the “golden age.” And unlike with traditional pensions, which pay a decent benefit only to long-term employees, members of America’s mobile workforce can carry their 401(k) plans with them as they change jobs.

Are some Americans falling short? Unquestionably, and retirement policy needs to help them. For instance, unmarried, less-educated women are far less likely to be financially prepared for retirement, in part because many fail to meet Social Security’s 10-year vesting period to qualify for benefits. Paying a universal minimum benefit to all retirees, which Social Security doesn’t currently do, would reduce old-age poverty caused by short working careers.

Likewise, many small businesses don’t offer 401(k) plans, due to the high fixed costs of establishing the plans. “Starter 401(k)s” with lower regulatory costs or multiple-employer 401(k)s could make offering retirement plans more affordable.

But massive Social Security expansions are unnecessary and unaffordable. Unnecessary because, as the OECD data show, when government retirement programs offer more generous benefits, households do less to prepare for retirement. On average, for each dollar of additional retirement benefits paid by an OECD government, households in that country generate 82 cents less in income through personal saving or work in retirement. Across-the-board benefit hikes would almost certainly result in lower retirement saving by middle- and upper-income households, which receive most of the benefit increases under expansion plans such as those proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Benefit expansions are also unaffordable. While the Democratic presidential candidates have promised expanded Social Security benefits, none have proposed plans that would enable Social Security to pay for the benefits it already has promised. That’s important, since Social Security’s long-term funding shortfall rose by 58 percent from 2008 to 2015.

The data show that the biggest retirement danger isn’t that Americans haven’t saved enough. It is politicians, both past and present, who promise Social Security benefits without paying for them. That’s the true retirement crisis the presidential candidates need to address.

Andrew G. Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration from 2007 to 2008. He served on the Society of Actuaries’ Blue Ribbon Panel on Public Pension Plan Funding from 2013 to 2014.