Retirement Prospects in a Defined Contribution World

EBRI Policy Forum Proceedings, 1997
ISBN 0-86643-088-1
Paperback, 160 pp.
PDF, 791 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, © 1997


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Executive Summary

Is an adequate income in your future?

The answer is within your control. Save enough and it will happen. Don't save and it is unlikely to happen.

Social Security, which provides the average retiree with just over 40 percent of final earnings as a pension, and just 26 percent for those who earned $65,000 last year, cannot alone provide adequate retirement income. Yet, one-half of retirees receive almost all of their retirement income from Social Security. If you want an adequate retirement income, you don't want to receive only Social Security.

The papers in this book provide a picture of the dramatic change and fundamental challenge we face in reaching the goal of an adequate retirement income. The papers document what we are and are not doing, and what we can do, to reach the goal. They underline the fact that we must take control of our own destiny; build on the base provided by Social Security; make a realistic assessment of whether we will have an employer pension and, if so, how much it will be; take advantage of every savings incentive provided to us at work and through an individual retirement account; and plan to live a very long time due to the wonders of modern medicine.