"There's no way that the age-66 benefit should be 29.3% larger than the benefit would be if taken four months later at the client's full retirement age," he said.
"Social Security has pulled lots of whoppers over the years," said Kotlikoff, a longtime critic.
"But this one is truly beyond belief. It clearly entails someone either internal or operating remotely introducing massive mistakes to the system's software code -- code that has been working for years. The worst-case scenario is that this is the work of some foreign adversary," Kotlikoff charged in his Forbes column.
Was this a one-time problem? A broad issue that impacted all statements? We simply didn't know. I reached out to some financial planners in metro Detroit, as well as the AARP and others who had not heard of widespread mistakes.
Thousands were off
Now, we have an answer from Social Security. Yes, thousands of statements were off.
"We were alerted that there might be a problem with some of the information on some statements," Social Security said in its email.
"The agency looked into this issue and found that statements obtained through the 'my Social Security' portal, and those automatically mailed to workers age 60 and older, were not impacted. We did find that a very small portion of On Request paper statements contained inaccuracies," the email said.
"We take our responsibility to provide the public with accurate information very seriously and regret any inaccurate statement, and we have fixed the program code for "On Request" paper statements. We completed this fix in July."
Social Security said the mistakes were isolated to On Request Statements that were requested by people who: