The Social Security Notch



Because of a flawed Social Security formula adopted in 1972, people born between 1912 and 1916 received unintended “windfall” benefits. To correct this flaw, in 1977 Congress enacted a new benefit formula for all those born after 1916. The law provided a five-year transition for people born from 1917 through 1921. This legislatively defined transition period is often called the “notch.” This situation has led many of those born in the transition years to believe mistakenly that they are getting less from Social Security than they deserve. An independent commission appointed by Congress and the president in 1993 to study the notch reported that the current benefit formula is fair and should not be changed.

The Social Security Notch: Policy

Commission findings

In this policy: Federal

AARP supports the findings of the Commission on the Social Security Notch that no beneficiaries are receiving less in benefits under the correction than they earned.