Retirement Savings as a Political Cudgel in the Debate over FTTs

Few Americans do much to protect themselves against the cost of long term care (LTC) in later life.  In fact, between half and three-quarters of Americans are anticipated to need LTC at some point, yet only about 8 percent of the US population has LTC insurance. Instead, many people simply hope to deal with long-term care and other health risks when they happen. This is not a sensible way to deal with one of life’s major shocks, particularly when one could spend several years in such an institution at an annual cost of over $90,000.Read More

Wharton’s Prof. Olivia S. Mitchell Among Recipients of $2 Million ICMM Grant

The Institute of Consumer Money Management recently announced a $2 million grant for studying the financial health of low and moderate income Americans near or in retirement. Prof. Mitchell, Dr. Robert Clark of North Carolina State University, and Dr. Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University will be working together onRead More

Auto-Enrollment Retirement Plans for the People: Choices and Outcomes in OregonSaves

Oregon is leading the way expanding access to workplace retirement plans via its OregonSaves program. How has it affected participation and outcomes among eligible employees? A new paper entitled “Auto-Enrollment Retirement Plans for the People: Choices and Outcomes in OregonSaves,” by John Chalmers, Olivia S. Mitchell, Jonathan Reuter, Geoffrey SanzenbacherRead More

Planning for Long-term Care Needs: Start Now

Few Americans do much to protect themselves against the cost of long term care (LTC) in later life.  In fact, between half and three-quarters of Americans are anticipated to need LTC at some point, yet only about 8 percent of the US population has LTC insurance. Instead, many people simply hope to deal with long-term care and other health risks when they happen. This is not a sensible way to deal with one of life’s major shocks, particularly when one could spend several years in such an institution at an annual cost of over $90,000.Read More

Do People’s Longevity Expectations Shape Their Key Financial Decisions?

We have recently explored this question focusing on smokers, since smoking is widely confirmed to reduce human life spans. Our research reveals a stunning gap between objective life expectancy and how smokers think about their own life spans. To examine this point, we asked 963 in a representative sample in Israel whether they thought they would live as long as, less than, or longer than an average person.Read More

Will Multiple Employer Plans Solve the Pension Coverage Gap?

Retirement legislation is one of the few areas where there currently appears to be bipartisan consensus in the US Congress. The SECURE Act, a comprehensive package covering numerous aspects of retirement saving, recently passed the House by a vote of 417-3 and it is expected to pass the Senate this year. One of the bill’s key provisions is to allow the creation of “open” Multiple Employer Plans (MEPs).Read More

Generational Differences and Debt

Older Americans are carrying growing levels of debt into retirement. This topic was the main focus of the 2019 Pension Research Council symposium, and debt was also studied in a recent Society of Actuaries (SOA) study entitled “Financial Perspectives on Aging and Retirement Across the Generations.” Both efforts provide important insights into what people say about financial priorities and debt across generations, and both confirm that debt is important in retirement planning. Read More

Interview: Treasury Department Rescinds Obama-Era Rules on Lump-Sum Pension Payments

Olivia S. Mitchell and Elizabeth Kennedy discuss implications of the treasury department’s decision to allow employers to pay out retirees’ pensions with a one-time lump sum payment, thus reversing Obama-era guidance that had banned this practice. Listen to the full piece above. Interview begins at 3:35. This segment originally airedRead More