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Age Disparities in Unemployment and Reemployment During the Great Recession and Recovery

May 15, 2012

Analyzes patterns in the percentage of workers unemployed at any point between May 2008 and March 2011, number of months they were unemployed, wage losses at reemployment, and likelihood of workers leaving the labor force by age group.

Boomers' Retirement Income Prospects

February 7, 2012

Examines how changing demographics and patterns in lifetime earnings, pension participation, and wealth accumulation among Americans born between 1946 and 1964 will shape baby boomers' economic well-being at age 70.

How Much Might Automatic IRAs Improve Retirement Security for Low- and Moderate-Wage Workers?

July 5, 2011

Estimates the extent to which requiring employers with no retirement plan to set up individual retirement accounts and automatically deposit a portion of pay would improve low- and moderate-wage workers' retirement security. Outlines policy implications.

The Potential Impact of the Great Recession on Future Retirement Incomes

May 26, 2011

Estimates the effects of job loss, slower wage growth, and withdrawals from retirement savings during the 2007-09 recession on retirement incomes at age 70, including decline in income by age group and number of those likely to live in poverty at 70.

How Did Older Workers Fare in 2009?

March 2, 2010

Presents findings on 2009 unemployment and labor participation rates, length of unemployment, and earnings for workers age 55 and older, compared with past trends and with younger workers. Analyzes data by gender, race/ethnicity, education, and industry.

Will Health Care Costs Bankrupt Aging Boomers?

February 4, 2010

Using the Urban Institute's dynamic microsimulation model, projects 2010-40 income, out-of-pocket medical expenses, and insurance premiums for Americans age 65 and older, excluding long-term care costs, assuming no changes in healthcare costs or policy.

Unemployment Rate Soars for Older Men With Limited Education

February 12, 2009

Examines the unemployment rate of adults age fifty-five and older by gender, industry, education level, and race/ethnicity. Highlights rising rates among older men in construction and manufacturing, those with limited education, and Latino/Hispanic men.

How Do Disabilities Affect Future Retirement Benefits?

October 1, 2008

One-quarter of workers ages 51 to 55 develop work disabilities before age 62. Disabilities often force people to curtail their work hours, derailing retirement preparations. However, protections built into Social Security, including disability and spouse benefits and the system's tilt toward workers with low lifetime earnings, cushion the impact of midlife health problems. After other factors are controlled for, the onset of health-related work limitations between ages 51 and 61 reduces Social Security retirement benefits at ages 63 to 67 by only about 2 percent, much less than the impact on other retirement savings.

Will Employers Want Aging Boomers?

July 23, 2008

Explores the status quo of older workers; why baby boomers are likely to work longer; and how changes in needed skills, the characteristics of older workers, and labor force growth will affect demand for older workers. Includes policy recommendations.

Employer-Sponsored Pensions: A Primer

January 1, 2008

The shifting pension landscape raises questions about the financial security of future retirees. About one-half of private-sector workers are not covered by employer-sponsored pension plans on their current job. Many private-sector employers have replaced traditional pensions with 401(k)-type plans, which protect benefits for workers who change jobs frequently but expose participants to investment risks. This primer describes pensions, workers with coverage, and related policy issues.

The Impact of Late-Career Health and Employment Shocks on Social Security and Other Wealth

December 20, 2007

About one-quarter of workers age 51 to 55 in 1992 developed health-related work limitations and about one-fifth were laid off from their jobs before age 62. Although late-career health and employment shocks often derail retirement savings plans, Social Security's disability insurance, spouse and survivor benefits, and progressive benefit formula provide important protections. In fact, health shocks increase Social Security's lifetime value, primarily because the system's disability insurance allows some disabled workers to collect benefits before age 62. However, if the system's disability insurance program did not exist, the onset of health-related work limitations would substantially reduce Social Security wealth.

Retaining Older Volunteers Is Key to Meeting Future Volunteer Needs

December 13, 2007

The boomers' impending retirement has spurred interest in tapping their productive energies to benefit society. This study examines older adults' decisions to stop or start formal volunteer work. The findings show that older adults usually stick with their original decisions, but more often stop than start volunteering. Volunteers who contribute a lot of hours over many years and who are married to volunteers are less likely to quit. And nonvolunteers are more likely to start volunteering if they have been uninvolved for few years and their spouses volunteer. The results highlight the importance of volunteer retention strategies for nonprofit agencies.