Retirement Security

The successful institutionalization of economic security for the vast majority of retirees since the end of World War II, is one of the major achievements of public and private sector collaboration over the last several decades. The institutionalization of retirement security through Social Security, Medicare, and private pensions and health care benefits reduced the poverty rate among the age 65-plus from over 30% to below 10% and contributed significantly to the economic security of whole families. Our retirement security institution, however, is under growing pressure as the number of retirees grows and private sources of economic security (pensions, savings, assets) remain stagnant or decline.

Future retirees are likely to be as dependent on Social Security and Medicare as their parents for economic security in retirement. This means that the preservation and strengthening of these programs will be a major focus of efforts to ensure retirement security for decades to come. The strengthening of private pensions and increased employment opportunities for older workers are also important to the future of economic security for older Americans and are priorities of the Pepper Center’s agenda for retirement security.

Completed Reports