Thomas L. Steinmeier


Thomas L. Steinmeier is Professor of Economics at Texas Tech University.  He previously taught at Dartmouth College and Oberlin College.  He is a Research Economist at the National Bureau of Economic Research and for fifteen years was a member of the Steering Committee and for most of those years a co-PI of the Health and Retirement Study.  For the last twenty-five years, Steinmeier’s research has focused on four central issues in labor economics and the economics of aging: retirement, pensions, Social Security and savings.  Together with Alan Gustman, he has examined how retirement is defined and reasons for the wide differences in retirement behavior among individuals; has investigated incentives observed in pension plans and sharp trends in these incentives over time; has analyzed how pensions and Social Security affect savings behavior, and has considered related public policy questions pertaining to Social Security, pension regulation, and retirement income policies.  Most recently, Steinmeier and Gustman have authored a series of articles using the Social Security earnings histories and employer provided pension data from the Health and Retirement Study to examine how pensions and Social Security affect wealth, saving and retirement behavior of those on the verge of retirement, to study Social Security policies, and to document the extent of and effects of imperfect knowledge of pensions and Social Security.  Together with Nahid Tabatabai and Gustman, Steinmeier has a newly published book from Harvard University Press entitled “Pensions in the Health and Retirement Study”, and an article discussing the likely effects of the recent recession on the wealth of the near retirement population.