The Gerontologist, Vol 34, Issue 5 680-684, Copyright © 1994 by The Gerontological Society of America
Caregiving and women's Social Security benefits: a comment on Kingson and O'Grady-LeShane
SH Sandell and H Iams
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201.
This article re-examines the effects of caregiving on women's Social
Security benefits using the New Beneficiary Survey. Total (husband and
wife) Social Security benefits to the family, rather than only the women's
own benefits, is the appropriate measure for married couples. We find
family benefits and family income to be invariant to the number of
children. The reduction in own retirement benefits associated with married
women's raising children is made up by higher benefits received by their
husbands and higher spouse benefits. Furthermore, adjusting Social Security
benefits for caregiving dropout years is not an efficient means to improve
the economic well-being of poor elderly women.