Winter 2020 Newsletter: MRDRC releases key findings from 2019 papers

MRDRC published eight working papers in 2019 on topics such as totalization agreements, global interest rate trends, and retirement inequality. Informing projections Interest Rate Trends in a Global Context Dmitriy Stolyarov and Linda Tesar WP 2019-402; UM19-05 Two methodologies are…

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How Reliant are Older Americans on State and Local Government Pensions?

State and local government pension plans cover about 19.5 million participants, and many participants are heavily reliant on these pensions for retirement income. Most of these plans, however, are underfunded. Based on data from the Health and Retirement Study, we…

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Underfunded Public Sector Pension Plans, Social Security Participation, and the Retirement Decisions of Public Employees

Abstract: This research compares the retirement choices and economic well-being of public sector employees who are covered by Social Security to those who are uncovered. I use a data set of public employees from 12 waves of the HRS that…

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How Would 401(k) ‘Rothification’ Alter Saving, Retirement Security, and Inequality?

The U.S. has long incentivized retirement saving in 401(k) and similar retirement accounts by permitting workers to defer taxes on contributions, levying them instead when retirees withdraw funds in retirement. This paper develops a dynamic life-cycle model to show how…

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Social Security Coverage around the World: The Case of China and Mexico

We describe the current state and recent trends in the landscape of social security programs in China, Mexico, and India. A common thread across these countries is the introduction and recent expansion of old-age pension programs with noncontributory components. We…

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Assessing Economic Resources in Retirement: The Role of Irregular Withdrawals from Tax-Advantaged Retirement Accounts

Irregular withdrawals from IRAs and DC pensions are not included in standard measures of household income in the CPS or Health and Retirement Study. Yet, among retirees such withdrawals can supplement regular retirement income to finance consumption. It has been…

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