What's Happening with Retirement Saving and Retirement Incomes? Better Data Tell a Better Story

25 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2016

Date Written: September 8, 2016

Abstract

Both households and policymakers are concerned about retirement security, amidst widespread perceptions that households are not saving adequately for retirement. But many of the commonly-cited data understate retirement plan availability and participation as well as the income that retirees derive from IRA and 401(k) plans. Moreover, many observers contrast these unduly pessimistic data with a prior "Golden Age" of traditional pensions, when data show that most U.S. workers never participated in such plans and onerous vesting requirements prevented many from receiving substantial benefits. A perception that most Americans are falling far short of their retirement saving goals may cause policymakers to overlook targeted polices to assist the smaller number of households who truly are at risk of an inadequate income in retirement.

Keywords: retirement saving, Social Security, pensions, retirement income

JEL Classification: H55; J32; J26; J32

Suggested Citation

Biggs, Andrew G., What's Happening with Retirement Saving and Retirement Incomes? Better Data Tell a Better Story (September 8, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2836958 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2836958

Andrew G. Biggs (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

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Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-862-5841 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.aei.org

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