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The transformation of the American pension system : was it beneficial for workers?

Author: Edward N Wolff
Publisher: Kalamazoo, Michigan : W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
An analysis that identifies the weaknesses in the current private pension system and offers practical, policy-based solutions aimed at strengthening the system, thereby making retirement a less daunting prospect for workers relying on 401k plans as a key source of retirement income and wealth. Wolff also recognizes the importance of Social Security to these workers and suggests ways of strengthening it as well. From  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Edward N Wolff
ISBN: 9780880993791 0880993790 9780880993807 0880993804
OCLC Number: 701809897
Description: xv, 333 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. Introduction : A précis of the book ; Chapter outline --
2. Recent trends in household wealth, 1983-2009: robust growth followed by collapse : Data sources and methods ; Median wealth rose briskly during the 2000s ; Wealth inequality shows a little change over the early and mid-2000s ; Household portfolios show a pronounced shift into DC pension accounts --
Portfolio composition by wealth class ; The racial divide remains largely unchanged over time ; Wealth shifts from the young to the old ; Stock ownership first rises and then falls ; An update to 2009 ; A wealth inequality puzzle ; Summary and concluding comments --
3. Review of the literature on retirement wealth and retirement adequacy : Did pension coverage rise? ; Did pension and retirement wealth increase? ; Do pensions reduce other forms of savings? ; Has retirement adequacy improved over time? ; Are there also improvements in the economic status of the elderly? ; What were the effects of the 2007-2009 recession on pension wealth? --
4. The slowdown in pension wealth growth in the 2000s : Accounting framework ; Pension coverage on the employee level ; Trends in private accumulations ; DC employer contributions (DCEMP) to defined contribution pension plans ; Summary of findings --
5. Stagnation of retirement wealth in the 2000s : Social security and total retirement wealth ; Augmented wealth ; Alternative pension wealth calculations ; Update to 2009 ; Summary and conclusions --
6. Differences in retirement wealth by demographic and household characteristics : Trends and composition of retirement and augmented wealth ; Disparities in retirement wealth by demographic group ; Summary and concluding remarks --
7. Retirement prospects : Measuring retirement income adequacy ; Expected retirement income ; The expected poverty rate at retirement ; Replacement rates --
8. Conclusions and policy recommendations : Summary of principal findings ; Policy recommendations --
Appendixes : A. Sources and methods used for the survey of consumer finances data ; B. Estimation of pension and social security wealth ; C. Augmented wealth including employer contributions to DC plans and net of taxes ; D. Extended results on retirement adequacy.
Responsibility: Edward N. Wolff.

Abstract:

An analysis that identifies the weaknesses in the current private pension system and offers practical, policy-based solutions aimed at strengthening the system, thereby making retirement a less daunting prospect for workers relying on 401k plans as a key source of retirement income and wealth. Wolff also recognizes the importance of Social Security to these workers and suggests ways of strengthening it as well. From publisher description.

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