Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he studies Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public sector pay and benefits.
Before joining AEI, Biggs was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA’s policy research efforts. In 2005, as an associate director of the White House National Economic Council, he worked on Social Security reform. In 2001, he joined the staff of the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Biggs has been interviewed on radio and television as an expert on retirement issues and on public vs. private sector compensation. He has published widely in academic publications as well as in daily newspapers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He has also testified before Congress on numerous occasions. In 2013, the Society of Actuaries appointed Biggs co-vice chair of a blue ribbon panel tasked with analyzing the causes of underfunding in public pension plans and how governments can securely fund plans in the future.
Biggs holds a bachelor’s degree from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London, and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics.
Principal Deputy Commissioner, 2007; Deputy Commissioner for Policy, 2006-2007; Associate Commissioner for Retirement Policy, 2003-2006, Social Security Administration
Associate Director, National Economic Council, White House, 2005
Social Security Analyst, Cato Institute, 1999-2003
Staff Member, President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security, 2001
Director of Research, Congressional Institute, 1998-99
Ph.D., government, London School of Economics
M.Sc., financial economics, University of London
M.Phil., social and political theory, Cambridge University
Those who follow the debate over fair-market valuation of public pension liabilities are aware that economists argue for using lower discount rates to value public pension liabilities but often are unaware of why economists believe what they do. This paper aims to better articulate those beliefs.
But the chained CPI really isn't being proposed as a Social Security reform, as a way to make the program more solvent or better-functioning. True Social Security reforms think about ways to better protect the poor, or to encourage longer work lives, or increase retirement saving. The chained CPI, by contrast, is about producing savings within the 10-year budget scoring window.
The narrative is already forming that President Obama only proposed using the chained CPI to appease congressional Republicans. But why should Republicans take the rap for a measure that weakens Social Security for the least well-off and institutes a large and regressive tax increase? Higher taxes and a less effective Social Security program - what's not to dislike?
Andrew Biggs finds that the real value of unfunded pension liabilities for Missouri's five largest pensions is close to $54billion - far higher than the $11.1 billion officially reported. This liability, which amounts to nearly $9,000 for every man, woman, and child in the state, potentially can make all other budgetary issues facing the state look small in comparison.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will consider a bill to partially refreeze federal employees pay--overriding an executive order issued late last year by President Obama that ended the pay freeze.American Enterprise Institute (AEI) economist Andrew Biggs offers the following research to consider:1. Underpaid?...
David Certner, legislative counsel and director of legislative policy for government affairs at AARP, and AEI’s Andrew G. Biggs will discuss how the Chained CPI should fit into our thinking regarding Social Security and the federal budget.
As the debt-ceiling debate begins, congressional Republicans will demand spending cuts which are likely to include entitlement reforms, with Social Security as a prime target. Although these increases are not the best way to solve America’s entitlement problem, they may be necessary to consider if an agreement is to be reached. If so, payroll tax increases should be levied across the board.