Shaky financial ground awaits many American retirees

Aug 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: Schwarzenegger pushes Congress to save after-school funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Is generosity essential to human existence?

Mar 04, 2015

When Dennis ole Sonkoi was a child he never gave much thought to sharing. Growing up in Kenya as part of the Maasai community – a pastoral group of herdsmen that travels throughout Kenya and Tanzania – ...

Team develops web tool to speed data collection

Feb 20, 2015

By 2030, one in five Americans will be age 65 or older. To understand the role neighborhoods play in seniors' ability to 'age in place'—living safely and independently in one's home of choice rather than ...

Recommended for you

Destroyed Mosul artefacts to be rebuilt in 3D

39 minutes ago

It didn't take long for the scientific community to react. Two weeks after the sacking of the 300 year-old Mosul Museum by a group of ISIS extremists went viral on Youtube, researchers from the ITN-DCH, IAPP ...

Boys plagiarise more than girls at school

1 hour ago

Research by the University of the Balearic Islands has analysed the phenomenon of academic plagiarism among secondary school students. The study, published in the journal Comunicar, confirms that this practi ...

Economist probes the high cost of health care

2 hours ago

When Zack Cooper arrived at Yale as assistant professor of public health and economics, he gained access to a first-of-its-kind dataset. Working with the non-profit Health Care Cost Institute, Cooper and ...

User comments : 0

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.