Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans

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Everyone deserves to be able to retire with dignity, but this core feature of the social contract is in jeopardy. Companies have swerved away from pensions, and most of the workforce has woefully inadequate retirement savings. If we don’t act to fix this broken system, rates of impoverishment for senior citizens threaten to skyrocket, and tens of millions of Americans reaching retirement age in the coming decades will be forced to delay retirement and will experience a dramatic drop in their standard of living.

In Rescuing Retirement, Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James offer a comprehensive yet simple plan to help workers save for retirement, increase retirement savings by earning higher returns, and guarantee lifelong income for everyone. Built on people’s own money in individual Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, the plan requires no new taxes, no more bureaucracy, and no increase in the deficit. Speaking to Americans’ growing anxiety about their ability to retire, Rescuing Retirement provides answers to anyone wanting to understand the growing movement to protect a period of life once considered a deserved time of rest and creativity and offers a practical guide to the future of secure retirement.

How to Retire With Enough Money and How to Know What Enough Is

How to Retire with Enough MoneyHere is a single-sit read than can change the course of your retirement. How to Retire with Enough Money cuts through the How to Retire With Enough Money confusion, misinformation, and bad policy-making that keeps us spending or saving poorly.

I begin by acknowledging what a person or household actually needs to have saved—the rule of thumb is eight to ten times your annual salary before retirement—and how much to expect from Social Security. And then I explain the basic principles that will make the money grow, including a dozen good ideas to get current expenses under control. Why to “get rid of your guy”—those for-fee (or hidden-fee) financial planners that suck up valuable assets. Why it’s always better to pay off a loan or a mortgage.

There are no gimmicks, no magical thinking—just an easy-to-follow program that works.

When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them

When I'm 64-The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save ThemA crisis is looming for baby boomers and anyone else who hopes to retire in the coming years. In When I'm Sixty-Four, Teresa Ghilarducci, the nation's leading authority on the economics of retirement, explains how to confront this crisis head-on, revealing the causes behind the increasingly precarious economics of old age in America and proposing a bold plan to guarantee retirement security for every working citizen.

"Teresa Ghilarducci's When I'm Sixty-Four is quite simply the best thing yet written on the retirement crisis facing baby boomers and the larger fragility of our retirement system. Far from defeatist, she proposes an ingenious national plan that will instantly become the reform against which all others must measure up. In clear prose, Teresa Ghilarducci cuts to the essence of an often bewildering subject that affects every American."--Robert Kuttner, American Prospect

Labor's Capital: The Economics and Politics of Private Pensions

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Why are pension funds so large and benefits so small? This examination of the 120-year-old American system of privatized social insurance—often called, at 1.7 trillion dollars, the biggest lump of money in the world—reveals that the system fails to provide adequate retirement income security, its most prominent goal, and, in fact, its greatest influence is in supplying funds to U.S. capital markets.

Linking market forces, historical movements, and social norms in the evolution of pensions, Ghilarducci's study is the first to focus on all major aspects of the system. Its trenchant analysis of the many sides of pensions and pension policy addresses questions of whom the system benefits, its direct and social costs, and the possibilities of reforms that would take into account the related problems of capital formation and retirement income.

Ghilarducci describes the history of pension funds and the involvement of unions in bargaining. She takes up the "moral hazard" involved in the conflicting interests of corporations and their employees, tackling issues of information availability and inequality of pension distribution based on sex, race, and job hierarchy. And in two chapters, each focusing on corporate and union uses of pension funds, she covers such topics as tax breaks, the effect of corporate takeovers, the use of pensions to pay back debt, and the kinds of skimming that can occur despite government regulation of pension activities. Ghilarducci concludes by presenting an ideal pension plan that would benefit both employer and employee and by offering predictions about pension plans of the future. Teresa Ghilarducci is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame.


Portable Pension Plans for Casual Labor Markets: Lessons from the Operating Engineers Central Pension Fund

showImageDesigning pension plans to cover workers and provide the necessary retirement funds is one of the critical issues of the turn of the century. Teresa Ghilarducci joins three other experts in the field of pension funds to examine the possibilities for pension reform based on a detailed understanding of a successful system, the union pension fund of the Operating Engineers. This type of plan is managed by workers and management trustees, covering workers that do not have secure and predictable jobs. The authors demonstrate just how this pension fund can provide a useful blueprint for executives, pension fund managers, industrial relations professionals, and public policy decision makers.

What You Need to Know about the Economics of Growing Old (But Were Afraid to Ask): A Provocative Reference Guide to the Economics of Aging

P00977This is a comprehensive source book to guide for politicians, economists, journalists, students, and ordinary Americans through the maze of Social Security and the economics of growing old in America. The first section addresses the status of the elderly and explores such issues as the average life expectancy and the number of elderly living in poverty. The second deals with the structure of the Social Security system and its disbursements of benefits. The third traces the economic path to old age. The fourth considers changing social norms, including the increase in the number of women in the workforce. The final section looks at what happens when the elderly work for pay.


In Search of Retirement Security: The Changing Mix of Social Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Individual Responsibility

nasicoverSince World War II, Social Security and employer-based pension plans have become the foundations of an economic security that enables older Americans to retire with dignity and financial independence. Social insurance and tax advantaged retirement benefits currently face a number of challenges, however. The upcoming retirement of the baby boomers will swell the ranks of the retired, which are estimated to double by 2020, straining the Social Security and Medicare programs. Employers are struggling to keep their pension funds afloat, while fewer and fewer companies are offering traditional pension plans. Americans are living longer than ever before, which means they draw benefits longer, taxing the system.

In Search of Retirement Security considers these challenges and provides fresh perspectives on the changing responsibilities of individuals, employers, and government in ensuring the continued dignity and independence of retirees.


Work Options for Older Americans

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While mandatory retirement has been eliminated in the United States, a myriad of policies and practices surround pensions, social security, tax law, labor contracts, and health benefits, all of which may have an impact on an older worker’s decision to work or retire and an employer’s decision to retain and train an older worker. In Work Options for Older Americans, Teresa Ghilarducci and John Turner assemble a critically important volume that systematically addresses many of the issues considered on a daily basis by employees and employers.

Work Options for Older Americans brings together discussion of these issues by well-known economists and scholars in other fields, from the Government Accountability Office, the AARP Public Policy Institute, the U.S. Department of Labor, and academia.