Focus on Social Security and Retirement

Focus on Social Security and Retirement

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A January 6 analysis from PIMCO explains why workers depending on defined-contribution pension plans should plan on working longer and saving more during their working lives.

On January 3, the Urban Institute published a study of Social Security and Medicare taxes paid and benefits received by those at different income levels over their lifetimes. It shows that virtually everyone gets back far more in benefits than they pay in taxes.

On December 23, AARP published a survey of baby boomers turning age 65. (The first was born in 1946.) It finds that by and large they are satisfied with their lives and reasonably well-prepared for retirement.

On December 22, the International Monetary Fund posted a working paper examining the macroeconomic effects of pension reform. It finds that it can raise growth by increasing saving and labor supply. Raising the retirement age has the strongest impact on growth.

On December 21, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College published an issue brief examining the extent to which those nearing retirement have adjusted their behavior in response to the economic crisis. A surprisingly large percentage have taken no action and don’t plan to despite a sharp decline in their retirement savings from the fall in house and stock prices.

On December 14, MetLife published a study estimating that baby boomers are likely to receive $8.4 trillion in inheritances. It says that $2.4 trillion of this amount has already been received, with another $6 trillion to come, which will help fill some of the retirement savings gap.

On December 1, Goldman Sachs published a study on the status of pension funding.

I last posted items on this topic on December 14.

Bruce Bartlett is an American historian and columnist who focuses on the intersection between politics and economics. He  blogs daily  and writes a weekly column  at The Fiscal Times.  Bartlett has written for Forbes Magazine and Creators Syndicate, and his work is informed by many years in government, including as a senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.  He is the author of seven books including the New York Times best-seller, Imposter: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006).

Bruce Bartlett’s columns focus on the intersection of politics and economics. The author of seven books, he worked in government for many years and was senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House.