2019 RDRC Meeting: Trends in Retirement Income Adequacy: Evidence from IRS Tax Data

Published: 2019


We examine trends in retirement income across the 1930-1941 birth cohorts using a 5% random sample from IRS tax data, comprising 22.6 million person-years. An advantage of our analysis is that we do not rely upon survey reports of income, whose accuracy has been a subject of concern. Overall, the picture that is painted is one where income replacement rates have not worsened over time for households at or above the median, but have deteriorated for households below the median. The percent of tax units that are completely dependent on Social Security income at a given age has generally been increasing over time.

Key Findings