Focus on Social Security and Retirement

Focus on Social Security and Retirement

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On June 27, J.P. Morgan Asset Management published a report on 401(k) participants. It finds that many have little if any idea how much they need to save for retirement or how to convert their assets into an income stream.

On June 23, the House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on Social Security’s finances.

On June 21, the Joint Committee on Taxation posted a report on the Social Security tax base.

On June 21, the Center for Retirement Research published a study of Social Security’s finances based on the latest trustees report.

In a June 21 commentary, Tax Policy Center economist Howard Gleckman discussed options for Social Security reform.

A June 10 Gallup poll found that the cost and availability of health care was the primary determinant of when and where people retire. Taxes and the cost of housing were much less important for retirees than nonretirees.

On June 9, Social Security’s actuaries released a study of a proposal by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to raise the retirement age and change the cost of living adjustment for Social Security in order to stabilize the system’s finances.

On June 7, the Employee Benefit Research Institute published a study on the impact of deferring retirement on the adequacy of retirement income. It finds that many people will need to defer retirement until they are in their 80’s in order to have an adequate retirement income.

Also on June 7, the Center for Retirement Research published a study showing that 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries already had private drug coverage before Part D was created.

And on June 7, the U.S. Government Accountability Office issued a report on retirement options. It recommends that people delay drawing Social Security benefits at least until reaching the full retirement age and that those with defined-contribution pension plans convert a portion to an annuity. Those that fail to do so risk falling into poverty in old age.

I last posted items on this topic on June 8.

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.