Retirement Savings Inequality: Different Effects of Earnings Shocks, Portfolio Selections, and Employer Contributions by Worker Earnings Level

Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 3, 2018

17 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2018

See all articles by Joelle Saad-Lessler

Joelle Saad-Lessler

The New School for Social Research

Teresa Ghilarducci

Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA); The New School for Social Research

Gayle Reznik

U.S. Social Security Administration

Date Written: August 8, 2018

Abstract

Changes in accumulated retirement savings, particularly in employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) plan balances, differ by worker’s earnings levels. Earnings shocks, portfolio diversification, and employer contributions to worker’s DC plans affect retirement savings for lower earners more than for higher earners. The authors match Survey of Income and Program Participation data to Social Security Administration earnings records and find factors underlying the different retirement savings outcomes by earnings level beyond mere differences in earnings.

Keywords: Defined Contribution Pensions, Retirement Wealth Inequality

JEL Classification: D14, D31, J32

Suggested Citation

Saad-Lessler, Joelle and Ghilarducci, Teresa and Ghilarducci, Teresa and Reznik, Gayle, Retirement Savings Inequality: Different Effects of Earnings Shocks, Portfolio Selections, and Employer Contributions by Worker Earnings Level (August 8, 2018). Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 3, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3232015

Joelle Saad-Lessler (Contact Author)

The New School for Social Research ( email )

6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Teresa Ghilarducci

Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) ( email )

80 Fifth Ave.
5th Floor
New York, NY 10027
United States

The New School for Social Research ( email )

6 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Gayle Reznik

U.S. Social Security Administration ( email )

Washington, DC 20254
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
88
Abstract Views
1,589
Rank
473,606
PlumX Metrics