Focus on Social Security and Retirement

Focus on Social Security and Retirement

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On February 3, the Social Security Administration published the latest edition of the Social Security Bulletin. It contains articles on recipients of Social Security’s child benefits, changes in long-term earnings by workers, and recent pension reforms in Latin America.

A February 2 Harris poll found that 34 percent of Americans have no retirement saving and 27 percent have no personal saving at all. More disturbingly, 25 percent of baby boomers, who are rapidly approaching retirement age, report having no retirement saving. By contrast, 53 percent of those age 18 to 33 report that they have retirement saving.

On January 31, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a working paper on the operation of disability insurance programs around the world.

On January 27, the Urban Institute published a report on poverty among the elderly.

On January 25, the Social Security Administration published a policy brief examining the implications of raising the normal retirement age past age 67. It estimates that raising the age to 68 would eliminate 23 percent of Social Security’s long-term deficit; raising the age to 70 would eliminate 31 percent of the deficit.

A January 20 Marist poll found that baby boomers are more pessimistic about their retirement prospects than either the generations ahead of them or behind them.

Also on January 20, the Employee Benefit Research Institute published a study on the adequacy of saving for retirement by the first wave of baby boomers.

And on January 20, a CBS News/New York Times poll found that the most favored option for stabilizing the finances for Social Security and Medicare is to raise premiums and cut benefits for those with high incomes.

On January 18, the National Academy of Social Insurance published a study that is highly critical of proposals to raise the retirement age because the burden will fall on the children and grandchildren of today’s retirees. It suggests that raising taxes would be better, even though that cost would also be paid by the children and grandchildren of today’s retirees.

On January 12, the Urban Institute published a study showing that the odds that an unemployed worker will find another job decrease sharply with age.

On January 7, the Congressional Research Service published a report on 401(k) plans and issues related to retirement savings in Congress.

I last posted items on this topic on January 12.

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.