Announcements

THE SOCIAL INSURANCE RESEARCH NETWORK (SIRN), sponsored by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) The Social Insurance Research Network (SIRN), directed by Larry Atkins, President, National Academy of Social Insurance, is an online venue providing access to scholarly research and professional announcements in the Social Insurance community. Social Insurance includes the systems for insuring workers and their families against economic insecurity caused by the loss of income from work and the cost of health care, such as Social Security, Medicare, Workers' Compensation, unemployment insurance, related social assistance and private employee benefits. NASI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of the nation's leading experts on social insurance. Its mission is to promote understanding and informed policymaking on social insurance and related programs through research, public education, training, and the open exchange of ideas. SIRN is dedicated to increasing communication among social insurance scholars, practitioners, and policy makers throughout the world.


Table of Contents

The Transition from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution Pensions: Does It Influence Elderly Poverty?

Natalia Orlova, Boston College, Center for Retirement Research
Matthew S. Rutledge, Boston College, Center for Retirement Research
April Yanyuan Wu, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.

Education, Earnings Inequality, and Future Social Security Benefits: A Microsimulation Analysis

Patrick J. Purcell, U.S. Social Security Administration
Howard Iams, U.S. Social Security Administration
Dave Shoffner, U.S. Social Security Administration


SOCIAL SECURITY, PENSIONS & RETIREMENT INCOME eJOURNAL

"The Transition from Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution Pensions: Does It Influence Elderly Poverty?" Free Download
Boston College Center for Retirement Research Working Paper No. 2015-17

NATALIA ORLOVA, Boston College, Center for Retirement Research
Email:
MATTHEW S. RUTLEDGE, Boston College, Center for Retirement Research
Email:
APRIL YANYUAN WU, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.
Email:

The transition from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) pension plans has left workers forced to make choices that may decrease their financial resources in retirement: taking lump-sum distributions before retirement that divert funds that could support consumption in retirement, not annuitizing DC benefits, or choosing a single-life annuity over a joint-and-survivor option so that their surviving spouses are left susceptible to income loss. This study examines pension coverage, lump-sum distributions, annuitization, and annuity life options among Health and Retirement Study households observed at ages 65-69 and 75-79 and relates these pension provisions to poverty incidence and the risk of falling into poverty at older ages. The results indicate that households with pensions that are annuitized with the joint-and-survivor life option and that do not take lump-sum distributions before age 55 are best able to avoid income and asset poverty. The results emphasize the importance of making DC plans operate more like DB plans, because the opportunities for these poor financial choices are likely only to grow given the reliance on DC plans as the sole source of employer pension income for future cohorts of retirees.

"Education, Earnings Inequality, and Future Social Security Benefits: A Microsimulation Analysis" Free Download
Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 75, No. 3, 2015

PATRICK J. PURCELL, U.S. Social Security Administration
Email:
HOWARD IAMS, U.S. Social Security Administration
Email:
DAVE SHOFFNER, U.S. Social Security Administration
Email:

Over the last three decades, earnings have grown faster for college graduates than for workers without a 4-year college degree. Such wage-growth differentials could affect the Social Security benefits and other retirement income of future retirees. A Social Security Administration microsimulation model, Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT), can estimate the distributional effects of Social Security reform proposals under alternative economic scenarios. We use MINT to estimate the effect of wage-growth differentials by educational attainment on the future earnings and Social Security benefits of individuals born during 1965-1979, sometimes referred to as ‚ÄúGeneration X.‚Ä? For those individuals, we find that different rates of wage growth by educational attainment would substantially increase the gap in annual earnings between college graduates and nongraduates. Differences in Social Security benefits would increase by a smaller proportion because of Social Security‚Äôs long-term averaging of earnings and its progressive benefit calculation formula.

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About this eJournal

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts on all topics related to old age pensions and retirement. This includes papers on social security, employment based pensions and other publicly provided or tax-favored mechanisms for retirement income. The journal welcomes submissions from any discipline and a broad range of topic areas, including benefit adequacy, pension finance, the design and reform of social security and pension systems, retirement policy, and comparative analyses of U.S. pension and retirement issues with those of other countries.

Editors: Patricia Dilley, University of Florida, and Laurence Seidman, University of Delaware

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Directors

SIRN SUBJECT MATTER EJOURNALS

LARRY ATKINS
National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)
Email: latkins@nasi.org

Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for SIRN-Sub.

Advisory Board

Social Security, Pensions & Retirement Income eJournal

HENRY J. AARON
Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution - Economic Studies Program

KENNETH S. APFEL
Director, Management, Finance and Leadership Program - University of Maryland

MERTON C. BERNSTEIN
Walter Coles Professor of Law Emeritus, Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

BING YUNG-PING CHEN
Frank J. Manning Eminent Scholar's Chair in Gerontology, University of Massachusetts Boston - Gerontology Institute

ERIC R. KINGSON
Professor of Social Work and Public Administration, Syracuse University - School of Social Work

OLIVIA S. MITCHELL
Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, Professor of Insurance and Risk Management, Executive Director, Pension Research Council, University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

ALICIA MUNNELL
Peter F. Drucker Professor in Management Sciences, Boston College - Center for Retirement Research

JOHN L. PALMER
University Professor, Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

STANFORD G. ROSS
Attorney and Consultant, Arnold & Porter, Chair, Social Security Advisory Board

C. EUGENE STEUERLE
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

LAWRENCE H. THOMPSON
Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

JACK VANDERHEI
Research Director, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

JOHN B. WILLIAMSON
Professor of Sociology, Boston College - Department of Sociology