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Retirement History Longitudinal Survey, 1969-1973, and Summary of Social Security Earnings: Merged Data (ICPSR 7739)

Principal Investigator(s): Social Security Administration


This data collection includes selected variables from the first three waves of the RETIREMENT HISTORY LONGITUDINAL SURVEY, conducted in 1969, 1971, and 1973 (ICPSR 7683, 7684, and 7685) as well as the Retirement History Longitudinal Survey Summary of Social Security Earnings, compiled from Social Security records. The Summary Earnings variables document reported earnings, wages and salary, self-employment earnings, and agricultural employment for the original respondent as well as first and second spouses. The earnings information is pertinent for the years 1951-1974. The variables selected from the first three waves of the Retirement History Longitudinal Survey include employment information concerning current and past employment, number of hours worked, number of hours off work, how the job was found, gross pay and time unit of pay, pension plans from current job and past jobs, types of pensions, and types of benefits. The subset also includes items pertaining to work history of the respondent, retirement plans, and, if retired, plans to work in the future. Demographic information collected about respondents, their spouses, and other members of the household includes race, sex, age, date of birth, marital status, education, occupation, income, benefits amount, number of children and children attending school, and household composition and relationship.

Series: Retirement History Longitudinal Survey Series

Access Notes

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.

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Study Description


Social Security Administration. Retirement History Longitudinal Survey, 1969-1973, and Summary of Social Security Earnings: Merged Data. ICPSR07739-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1979.

Persistent URL:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration on Aging

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    income, job history, older workers, pension plans, personal finances, retirees, retirement, retirement income, retirement planning, Social Security, wages and salaries

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1969--1973

Universe:    All married men in the United States born between 1905-1911. Women born between 1905-1911 without husbands were also included in the universe.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

All records contain weights, which must be used in any analysis.

Data from the 1969 wave were processed and reformatted by the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University.

Conducted by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, and the Social Security Administration, Office of Research and Statistics.


Sample:    The first wave of surveys used the same sampling frame as that applied by the United States Bureau of the Census for the Current Population Survey (CPS). Sample members were persons who lived in households that had participated in CPS before February 1969. In subsequent waves, attempts were made to locate and reinterview original respondents. If the original respondent had died in the intervening period, a full interview was conducted with the surviving spouse, when applicable. To qualify as a surviving spouse, an individual must have been married to and living with the original respondent at the time of the previous interview and not have remarried.

Data Source:

RETIREMENT HISTORY LONGITUDINAL SURVEYS, 1969, 1971, and 1973 (ICPSR 7683, 7684, and 7685), and Social Security records

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-03-18

Version History:

  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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