Shifting Income Sources of the Aged

Social Security Bulletin 72(3): 59-68

10 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2015

Christopher Anguelov

U.S. Social Security Administration

Howard Iams

U.S. Social Security Administration

Patrick J. Purcell

U.S. Social Security Administration

Date Written: August 1, 2012

Abstract

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

Anguelov, Christopher and Iams, Howard and Purcell, Patrick J., Shifting Income Sources of the Aged (August 1, 2012). Social Security Bulletin 72(3): 59-68. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2122096

Christopher Anguelov (Contact Author)

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Howard Iams

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Patrick J. Purcell

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States
202-358-6348 (Phone)

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