Introduction The key supplement to Social Security benefits is accumulations in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Increasingly these accumulations occur in 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The release of the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) is a great opportunity to see how a strengthening economy, the continued maturation of the 401(k) system, […]

Bad news: Your 401(k) won’t give you a decent retirement

For nearly 40 years now, we’ve been hearing that 401(k) plans are the key to a comfortable retirement. By giving a tax break to workers contributing part of their paychecks to their retirement nest eggs, the plans were designed to supplement Social Security benefits and employer pensions. Instead, they’ve become substitutes, not supplements, for employer […]

Why it’s so hard for Americans to save for retirement

More than 35 years after he revolutionized the way Americans plan for retirement, Ted Benna is still trying to make it easier for people to save. Benna, who is sometimes called the father of the 401(k), has lamented the shortfalls of the system he helped create when he pointed employers to a provision in the […]

Do Older Americans Have More Income Than We Think?

Abstract The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) is the source of the nation’s official household income and poverty statistics. In 2012, the CPS ASEC showed that median household income was $33,800 for householders aged 65 and over and the poverty rate was 9.1 percent for persons aged 65 and over. […]