50 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 11, 2013
Longevity risk — the risk of outliving one’s retirement savings — is probably the greatest risk facing current and future retirees in the United States. As life expectancy increases, government programs, private pensions, and various financial products will all be needed to provide retirement income over ever-longer periods of retirement. This Article focuses on the optimal mix of social insurance, pensions, and financial products that should be used to provide retirement income to the oldest old, here defined as those aged 90 and over. To be sure, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are already designed to provide modest, inflation-adjusted retirement benefits to all retirees. On the other hand, pensions and other forms of retirement savings are often dissipated long before people reach the esteemed status of oldest old. One approach for enhancing the retirement incomes of the oldest old would be to expand Social Security and SSI. Another approach would be to strengthen the protections provided by pensions and other forms of retirement savings. In particular, the private sector could be encouraged to sell more annuities and other lifetime income products, and, perhaps, the government should also get into the business of selling annuities. These are the kinds of solutions that will be needed to ensure that the oldest old face their final years with adequate economic resources.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Forman, Jonathan Barry, Supporting the Oldest Old: The Role of Social Insurance, Pensions, and Financial Products (October 11, 2013). Elder Law Journal, Vol. 21, No. 2, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2339236