Shifting Income Sources of the Aged
Social Security Bulletin 72(3): 59-68
10 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015
Date Written: August 1, 2012
Traditional defined benefit pensions, once a major source of retirement income, are increasingly giving way to tax-qualified defined contribution (DC) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). This trend is likely to continue among future retirees who have worked in the private sector. This article discusses the implications of those trends for the measurement of retirement income. We conclude that Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), one of the primary sources of income data, greatly underreports distributions from DC plans and IRAs, posing an increasing problem for measuring retirement income in the future. The CPS and other data sources need to revise their measures of retirement income to account for periodic (irregular) distributions from DC plans and IRAs.
Keywords: Aging, Elderly, Income, Old Age, Pension, Pensioners, Retirement, Social Security
JEL Classification: D31, H55, J14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation