Shaky financial ground awaits many American retirees

August 16, 2007

The burden of long-term economic security in the United States is moving away from employers and the government onto the shoulders of workers - a transformation that Yale University political scientist Jacob Hacker calls "The Great Risk Shift." The latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report (PPAR) tackles the surrounding issues that older Americans will now face.

This publication presents analyses from five leading figures associated with identifying and tracking the shifting policy landscape of risk and responsibility. Hacker himself contributes the lead article -- outlining the trends and noting their dramatic consequences.

Economics professor Theresa Ghilarducci of the University of Notre Dame examines the risks working age Americans face due to the move from traditional pension plans toward individual investment accounts like 401(k)s. Alicia Munnell of Boston College quantifies this shift using that school's innovative "National Retirement Risk Index." Marilyn Moon, a vice president at the American Institutes for Research, addresses efforts to transform Medicare into a defined contribution program through the use of vouchers. Finally, the Employee Benefit Research Institute's Craig Copeland shows how this rising retirement risk for younger Americans has gone hand in hand with rising levels of debt among older Americans.

Taken together, these essays paint a disquieting picture of growing insecurity among the aged about retirement -- an area where U.S. social policy has historically been most focused and where it has been most successful.

Source: The Gerontological Society of America

Explore further: Clinton private account targeted in Russia-linked email scam

Related Stories

Things to know about automatic license plate readers

September 15, 2015

Authorities chasing the suspect in a fatal shooting at Delta State University in Mississippi used an automatic license plate reader to track the man as he traveled across state lines. The technology was also used in Virginia ...

Drone policing in US seen as 'Wild West'

September 13, 2015

Drones are increasingly making their mark in the arsenal of US police forces, operating in a legal gray area and sparking concerns of constant surveillance of civilians.

Getting the climate change story straight

September 2, 2015

With the recent publication of the 2014 IPCC report on climate change, the 2014 US National Climate Assessment, and the upcoming Paris 2015 UN Climate Conference, it's no surprise that the scientific consensus on human-caused ...

Saving Louisiana's coast

August 27, 2015

It was Day Nine after Katrina struck in 2005 when Sarah Mack's bosses at the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans called her back to work.

Recommended for you

How much for that Nobel prize in the window?

October 3, 2015

No need to make peace in the Middle East, resolve one of science's great mysteries or pen a masterpiece: the easiest way to get yourself a Nobel prize may be to buy one.

Search for Egypt's Nefertiti gains new momentum (Update)

September 29, 2015

The search for ancient Egypt's Queen Nefertiti in an alleged hidden chamber in King Tut's tomb gained new momentum as Egypt's Antiquities Minister said Tuesday he is now more convinced a queen's tomb may lay hidden behind ...

New finds of a living fossil

October 2, 2015

The coelacanth fish, found today in the Indian Ocean, is often called a 'living fossil' because its last ancestors existed about 70 million years ago and it has survived into the present - but without leaving any fossil remains ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.