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

Examining the New Income Measures in the Current Population Survey

Craig Copeland, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

Longevity Shocks with Age-Dependent Productivity Growth

Ben J. Heijdra, University of Groningen - Department of Economics, CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute), Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS)
Laurie S.M. Reijnders, University of Groningen

Women's Household Preparation for Retirement at Young and Mid-Adulthood: Differences by Children and Marital Status

Christopher R. Tamborini, U.S. Social Security Administration
Patrick J. Purcell, U.S. Social Security Administration


SOCIAL SECURITY, PENSIONS & RETIREMENT INCOME eJOURNAL

"Examining the New Income Measures in the Current Population Survey" Free Download
EBRI Notes, Vol. 36, No. 5 (May 2015)

CRAIG COPELAND, Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)
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The U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) is a primary source of income data for those whose ages are associated with being retired. In response to research showing that the survey has misclassified and underreported certain types of income, the 2014 CPS included a redesigned set of questions aimed at better capturing income from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)-type plans, among other goals. This paper provides a comparison of the income levels from the redesigned questions with those from the traditional questions. The focus in this paper is on the income of those ages 65 or older and on the income categories associated with retiree income to see the impact of the changes in the questions on sources of income in retirement. Particular emphasis is given to the income from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)-type plans, as this appears to be the income type with the most underreporting, given the lump-sum nature of the payments typically found from these plans, instead of regular annuity payments traditionally received from pensions. This analysis finds the new measure of income in the CPS identifies significantly more income (and a much larger percentage of income) coming from IRAs and 401(k)-type plans. Compared with the estimated amount under the traditional-income questions for 2013, the redesigned questions have resulted in an estimated total annual income 9.1 percent larger for those ages 65 or older, an aggregate amount of almost an additional $133 billion. Retirement income is 27.9 percent larger, an aggregate difference of almost $71 billion. However, Social Security remains the overwhelmingly predominant source of income for those ages 65 or older. The redesigned CPS still finds that over 60 percent of individuals in the two lowest-income quartiles receive more than 90 percent of their total income from Social Security.

"Longevity Shocks with Age-Dependent Productivity Growth" Free Download
CESifo Working Paper Series No. 5364

BEN J. HEIJDRA, University of Groningen - Department of Economics, CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute), Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS)
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LAURIE S.M. REIJNDERS, University of Groningen
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The aim of this paper is to study the long-run effects of a longevity increase on individual decisions about education and retirement, taking macroeconomic repercussions through endogenous factor prices and the pension system into account. We build a model of a closed economy inhabited by overlapping generations of finitely-lived individuals whose labour productivity depends on their age through the build-up of labour market experience and the depreciation of human capital. We make two contributions to the literature on the macroeconomics of population ageing. First we show that it is important to recognize that a longer life need not imply a more productive life and that this matters for the affordability of an unfunded pension system. Second, we find that factor prices could move in a direction opposite to the one accepted as conventional wisdom following an increase in longevity, depending on the corresponding change in the age-productivity profile.

"Women's Household Preparation for Retirement at Young and Mid-Adulthood: Differences by Children and Marital Status" Free Download
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Vol. 36 (2015)

CHRISTOPHER R. TAMBORINI, U.S. Social Security Administration
Email:
PATRICK J. PURCELL, U.S. Social Security Administration
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There are increasing concerns about whether Americans are saving enough for retirement. Recent research has called for improved understanding of the relationship between family structure and economic preparation for retirement at earlier stages of the life course. Using multiple years of the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances, we examined how number of children and marital status were associated with women’s household retirement savings at young and mid-adulthood. Several household-level indicators of retirement preparation were considered: desire to save for retirement, retirement account ownership, eligibility to participate in a defined-contribution plan, participation in defined-contribution plans, and retirement account wealth. Results from regression analyses revealed variation in women’s household financial preparation for retirement at young and mid-adulthood by family context. Additional children were negatively associated with several measures of retirement preparation among single-female households but not for couple households. Overall, we found that low economic preparation for retirement is an additional economic disadvantage facing single mothers at young and mid-adulthood, with potentially long-term implications for their financial security. The results shed light on linkages between family structure and women’s economic status.

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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