Letter: Don't raise retirement age

Social Security cards Social Security cards Photo Credit: iStock

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In their opinion piece, "Both parties need to face third rails" [Opinion, Nov. 29], Whitney Tilson and Anthony Scaramucci advocate raising the Social Security retirement age to 70, because "people who reach age 65 today live, on average, five years longer than they did when Social Security was created in 1935."

The crucial phrase, of course, is "on average." The fact is that the lowest-income workers have only seen their life expectancy at retirement increase by about two years. Since the retirement age has already been raised to 67 for those born after 1960, they are working longer to receive the same benefits. Raise the age to 70, and they would work longer for fewer benefits.

This would amount to a subsidy to the wealthiest retirees, whose life expectancy has increased by more than five years, and who already pay a smaller percentage of their income for Social Security taxes.

Raising the retirement age to balance the budget would be both unjust and destabilizing to the economy.

Richard G. Shelp, Bridgehampton

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