Retirement Security

How the shift to 401(k)s has increased gaps in retirement preparedness based on income, race, ethnicity, education, and marital status

Today, many Americans rely on savings in 401(k)-type accounts to supplement Social Security in retirement. This is a pronounced shift from a few decades ago, when many retirees could count on predictable, constant streams of income from traditional pensions (see “Types of retirement plans” box). This chartbook assesses the impact of the shift from pensions […]

How Do Older Workers Use Nontraditional Jobs?

Working consistently through one’s fifties and early sixties is key to attaining retirement security. However, workers also need access to retirement plans – so they can continue to accumulate resources – and health insurance – so they can avoid withdrawing assets in the event of a health shock. Workers without access to these benefits will […]

Will More Workers Have Nontraditional Jobs as Globalization and Automation Spread?

Recent research has called attention to alternative employment arrangements that often leave workers without retirement and health benefits and with income instability.  At the same time, workers are facing increasing competition from automation and globalization.  This competition is of special concern for older workers, who increasingly need longer careers to secure an adequate retirement and […]

How to reform Social Security for future generations of Americans

Social Security is entering a new era. Starting next year, benefits will be sustained not only by current payroll taxes but also by withdrawals from reserves accumulated over the last three decades. In about 15 years, however, the Social Security trust funds will be depleted. At that point, the earmarked revenues will cover only about […]

These Social Security plans could help solve America’s retirement crisis

America is facing a looming crisis as generations of workers who mostly participated in do-it-yourself savings plans — or no plan at all — approach retirement. Though a few high-income households have amassed small fortunes in tax-favored retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, at least half of working households are expected to see a […]