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The Erroneous Selection of the Full Social Security Age as the Terminal Date for Lost Earnings Projections

Patrick A. Gaughan and Charles L. Baum

Abstract

It seems to be increasingly common that some personal injury lost earnings projections are being extended by some experts to the “Normal Retirement Age” (NRA) – the age where workers can receive full, unreduced Social Security benefits. The selection of this age often implies a rejection of the worklife expectancy. However, statistics on claiming behavior of Social Security benefit recipients show that only a minority of recipients wait until the NRA to claim benefits. We use actual claiming behavior and the respective ages to show the use of the NRA for determining the ending date of lost earnings projections, instead of the well-researched worklife expectancy, results in exaggerated and speculative lost earnings damages.


Corresponding author: Patrick A. Gaughan, PhD, Economatrix Research Associates, Inc., New York, USA, E-mail:

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Received: 2020-11-13
Accepted: 2021-05-24
Published Online: 2021-07-05

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