Focus on Social Security and Retirement

Focus on Social Security and Retirement

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On May 3, the Treasury Department made an extensive report to the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee on the current state of public and private pension funds.

On April 28, the National Academy of Social Insurance published a study, which found that the measure of inflation used to index Social Security benefits understates the cost of living for the elderly.

An April 25 Gallup poll found that 53 percent of people don’t believe they have enough money for retirement, up from 32 percent a decade ago. It also found an increase in the age at which people expect to be able to retire.

On April 12, the Center for Retirement Research published a study of the annual Social Security benefit statement. It finds no evidence that the information affects retirement behavior.

On March 30, House Ways and Means Committee Republicans launched a strong attack on AARP for being less of an advocate for seniors than a profit making enterprise that will gain $1 billion over the next decade from health care reform. That same day, AARP disputed the claim. The committee held a hearing on April 1 examining AARP’s profit making activities.

On March 29, Millman published a study showing that while corporations have increased their contributions to defined-benefit pension plans, their liabilities are growing faster because of low interest rates.

Also on March 29, the Center for Retirement Research published a study that while state and local government pension plans have serious long term problems, they do not yet face an inability to pay benefits in the near term.

On March 19, University of Genoa economists Luca Beltrametti and Matteo Della Valle posted a working paper, which compared the implicit pension liabilities across a number of countries using a common methodology. Somewhat surprisingly, the U.S. is in relatively good shape compared to other countries.

I last posted items on this topic on March 18.

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.