‘Retirement Annuity and Employment-Based Pension Income Among Individuals Age 50 and Over: 2007’ and ‘Employer Spending on Benefits, 2007’

November 2008, Vol. 29, No. 11
Paperback, 12 pp.
PDF, 370 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2008

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Executive Summary

Annuity and Pension Income


Latest update: This article provides the latest data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population survey on retirement annuity and pension income for the population age 50 and over. It confirms earlier findings that gender, marital status, age, education, and other demographic variables have a significant impact on the likelihood of a worker receiving a retirement annuity and/or employment-based pension income in retirement.


Gender: In 2007, 42.6 percent of men age 65 and over received annuity and/or pension income, with a mean amount of $18,293 per year, compared with only 27.9 percent of women age 65 and over, who had mean annual pension income of $11,895.


Plan participation gender gap is closing: On average, today's younger women tend to spend more time in the work force than did women who were age 50 and over in 2007. Women’s participation in retirement plans has risen significantly in recent years, closing the gap in retirement plan participation with men. The aggregate pension and annuity recipiency for women and the amounts they receive are likely to increase relative to men over time as these younger generations retire.


Employer Spending on Benefits


Benefits spending continues to increase: The latest U.S. Commerce Department data indicate that employer spending on total compensation continues to increase, reaching almost $8 trillion at year-end 2007. That is almost 35 percent higher than seven years earlier, in 2000. Wages and salaries accounted for the lion’s share, $6.4 trillion (or 81.4 percent), while benefits made up the remainder, $1.5 trillion (18.6 percent).


Retirement still no. 1 but health catching up fast: Retirement benefits remain the largest single sector of benefits expenditures by employers, although health benefits have been catching up. By 2007, retirement benefits accounted for 47.7 percent of the total spending for benefits, while health benefits had increased to 42.8 percent of total benefit spending. “Other benefits” account for 9.5 percent.