Lifetime Low Earners in 2050Methodology »
Released: August 2021
Next expected update: 2023
DEFINITION: We are defining a lifetime low earner as a Social Security beneficiary aged 60 or older who has at least 30 years of work with each year's earnings at or above four times the amount needed for one Social Security quarterly credit and less than half of the national average wage index.
In 2050, we project that:
- Almost 3 percent of beneficiaries aged 60 or older will be lifetime low earners.
- More lifetime low earners will be women and have a high-school education or less compared with all beneficiaries aged 60 or older.
- Fewer lifetime low earners will be disabled compared with all beneficiaries aged 60 or older.
- More than half of lifetime low earners will be in the lowest paying average indexed monthly earnings (AIME) quintile. a
- Over 5 percent of lifetime low earners will have household incomes below 100 percent of poverty.
|Characteristic||Lifetime low earners||Beneficiaries aged 60 or older|
|Number of beneficiaries||2.4 million||83.6 million|
|High school education or less||64%||41%|
|All other races||4%||8%|
|Paying AIME quintile||Percentage of beneficiaries in quintile|
|Under—||Lifetime low earners||Beneficiaries aged 60 or older|
a. The paying AIME is the AIME of the higher-earning spouse if an individual receives a spousal or survivor benefit or the individual's own AIME if they only receive their own work benefit.
SOURCE: Modeling Income in the Near Term, Version 8 (MINT8) microsimulation model using 2019 Trustees Report intermediate assumptions.