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FAQs About Benefits—Retirement Issues
What about personal saving for retirement?
While it is hard to determine how much people are saving for retirement, an indicator is money saved in tax-sheltered retirement accounts, such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Keogh plans (for the self-employed). In 2001, nearly 3.5 million taxpayers made contributions totaling more than $7.4 billion to IRAs. Currently, IRAs are the largest single repository of tax-deferred retirement assets, generated primarily from funds "rolled over" from other tax-advantaged accounts such as a 401(k) plan from a former employer. Relatively little money in IRAs comes from new contributions.
Both the number of people contributing and the amounts contributed to IRAs has been declining since 1990, perhaps partially because of the creation of Roth IRAs, which are not reported on tax returns. In 2001, nearly 1.3 million taxpayers made contributions to Keogh plans for the self-employed. The Keogh number has grown consistently since 1990 and recently eclipsed IRA contributions for the first time. About one adult American in five has either an IRA or Keogh account.
In 2002, IRAs held more than $2.3 trillion, after peaking at more than $2.65 trillion in 1999. The subsequent decline largely reflects falling stock prices. In 1999, 46% of IRA assets were in mutual funds and more than 35% were in self-directed brokerage accounts.
While there is widespread concern that today's workers aren't saving enough to finance a comfortable retirement, it is difficult to distinguish between total savings and those exclusively directed at future retirement.
General Overview of Benefits
- Where do people get income to finance their retirement?
- Do retirees think their income is adequate?
- What are the basic types of retirement plans?
- How much money is in retirement accounts, and how is it held?
- How many retirees receive work-related pensions?
- Who is most likely to be receiving a pension?
- What's the current trend on pension payments?
- What portion of workers are accruing benefits in an employment-based retirement plan?
- What do retirement plans cost employers?
- What are the trends in retirement plan coverage in the United States?
- What about personal saving for retirement?
- Are the types of retirement plans changing?
- What are the trends in defined benefit pension plans?
Health Spending and Insurance Issues
- What has America spent on health care in recent years?
- Is the average American spending a growing amount on health?
- Are these averages indicative of what a typical family pays for medical care?
- Has the amount Americans spend directly on health been growing?
- Has responsibility for paying medical bills shifted over time?
- What do workers and employers pay for employment-based coverage?
- What do employers pay for health benefits as a percent of compensation?
- How does this pattern compare with what's found in other nations?
- Has the way health dollars are spent changed?
- How many Americans have health insurance?
- Where do Americans get their health insurance?
- Which workers are most likely to have employment-based coverage?
Other Benefit Issues
EBRI Research and Education Centers
- 401(k) Valuations Published: March 1, 2014 401(k) Balances and Changes Due to Market Volatility
- Data Book Last Updated: February 2013 A comprehensive collection of the most up-to-date benefit information available