Private Pensions

The Real Reason the Investor Class Hates Pensions

No issue in America today better illustrates the divergent interests of working Americans and the 1 percent than pension reform. Substantial empirical evidence shows that America’s favored retirement vehicle — the 401(k), recently renounced by its own inventors — is grossly inadequate and will leave tens of millions of Americans with insufficient retirement assets. And […]

How the tax bill will penalize wage earners, in one chart

Under the tax bill working its way through Congress, the self-employed, sole proprietors, partners, or owners of S-corporations (“pass- through business owners”) are eligible for a new deduction equal to 20 percent of their business income. The deduction reduces their taxable income and thus drops many of them into lower tax brackets. Wage earners will not […]

SNAP Promotes Long-Term Gains, Especially for Children

Yesterday we examined how SNAP helps low-income families in the short term using data from two new resources, SNAP Matters and a Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report.  This research also shows that these short-term benefits can have long-term implications for families. By reducing poverty and food insecurity, SNAP can have lasting effects on health and development, particularly for children. […]


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 […]