Private Pensions

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. […]

Who’s Better Paid, Private or Federal Workers? A New Twist on an Old Debate

How the wages and benefits of federal workers stack up against those of their private sector counterparts has been the subject of debate for years. A recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office adds a surprising twist to that age-old debate: The level of education of the government workers in question is often the determining factor in […]

The State of American Retirement

Overview 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,” below). This chartbook assesses the impact of the shift from […]

Investment Returns: Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution Plans

The brief’s key findings are: The analysis compares returns by plan type from 1990-2012 using data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Form 5500. During this period, defined benefit plans outperformed 401(k)s by an average of 0.7 percent per year, even after controlling for plan size and asset allocation. In addition, much of the money accumulated in 401(k)s […]