Public Pension Design and Household Retirement Decisions: A Comparison of the United States and Germany

Social Security provides retirement benefits to age-eligible workers and their spouses. Benefits are permanently increased if initial receipt is delayed. For benefits paid to spouses, these incentives reflect a complex interaction of the worker’s and spouse’s earnings histories, benefit claiming…

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The Relationship between Adverse Experiences over the Life Course and Later-life Retirement Due to Disability

We will use data about early- and midlife adversity from the Health and Retirement Study, including the new Life History Mail Survey, to examine the effects of adverse experiences on retirement due to disability. We hypothesize that early- and midlife…

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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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Subjective Expectations, Social Security Benefits, and the Optimal Path to Retirement

Americans face the challenges of retirement with varying degrees of preparation. Evidence indicates that that many individuals may not be making the best possible choices with respect to their Social Security and retirement savings. We assess the subjective expectations of…

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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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Money isn’t everything—at least for older workers

In 2015, Nicole Maestas, Kathleen J. Mullen, David Powell, Jeffrey Wenger, and Till von Wachtner fielded two surveys. One asked respondents about their working conditions; the second asked about their preferences for certain job characteristics. The nine working conditions were…

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Understanding Job Transitions and Retirement Expectations Using Stated Preferences for Job Characteristics

As the population ages in the United States and other countries, encouraging older individuals to work would help counter increasing dependency ratios and improve national economic outcomes. Extending working lives is likely not simply a function of improving monetary incentives.…

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