Kotlikoff: SSA Tricking People into Making Poor Claiming Decisions?

Jul 26, 2021

The Social Security Administration is misleading and mistreating Americans by “running scams” and “tricking them” into making claiming choices that cheat them out of benefits to which they’re entitled, argues Laurence Kotlikoff, Boston University economics professor, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.

One such injustice he calls “a terrible hoax [that] may be the worst public policy this country has ever run.”

There are, alas, 2,728 “crazy, byzantine rules” in the Social Security handbook. The Administration “built this Rubik’s Cube that nobody can follow,” Kotlikoff contends. But Social Security seems to operate on a version of caveat emptor: They say that “the overarching rule of Social Security is if a mistake is made, it’s your fault even though Social Security made it. You’re supposed to know all the provisions,” says Kotlikoff, who for years has been drawing attention to the nightmares that can emerge from SSA’s maze of rules.

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