Retirement and the provision of pensions and retirement benefits impact individuals, the private sector, community services, and nationalized health systems like Medicare. RAND has made policy-relevant contributions in developing and developed nations in the area of retirement research, including modeling future retirement trends, analyzing the determinants and health impacts of retirement, and understanding retirement consumption behavior.
Employment trajectories following the onset of disability are poorly understood. Employer-focused policy interventions may reduce uptake in public disability insurance and disability-induced early retirement.
As the Affordable Care Act expands health insurance coverage in the U.S., the "cost" of applying for SSDI will decline for many. Studying the effect of Massachusetts health care reform in 2006 may provide insights into the impact the ACA may have on SSDI applications and awards.
People with low levels of financial literacy are more easily influenced by the default settings of employee savings plans. The Financial Literacy Center is measuring differences in default effects for employees at companies with auto-enrollment retirement plans, focusing on differential behavior by income.
Households annuitize very little of their retirement savings. The Financial Literacy Center is studying the annuitization choices of retiring workers, designing and implementing new communication strategies that will raise acceptance of annuities, and examining the effectiveness of these strategies.
Previous research has shown that changes in income and health insurance are associated with changes in health and/or mortality. An examination of administrative data may show whether receipt of Social Security Disability Insurance and participation in related programs causally affect survival rates among applicants.
Currently, few Americans opt to annuitize their Social Security payments. A better understanding of individuals' preferences for annuitization, obtained via a stated-preference survey, can inform the debate on Social Security reform.
Leaving the work force early has become commonplace in developed countries. Understanding the financial incentives and other factors that induce individuals to retire early, can help policymakers design effective reforms to help guarantee the financial stability of pension systems.
Research suggests that many individuals claim Social Security retirement benefits at younger ages than may be optimal. The Financial Literacy Center is evaluating alternative ways to convey information about when to claim benefits and offering advice to enhance the Social Security Administration's online claiming website.
People have difficulty understanding how much money they must accumulate in their working years to create a sufficient stream of income once they retire. The Financial Literacy Center is exploring whether disclosing information about the monthly retirement income stream resulting from an individual's retirement account will change savings behavior.
Given the worldwide trend of aging populations, it is important to learn about the long- and short-term effects of non-contributory social security programs. With the State of Yucatan, CLASP designed such a program for towns with more than 20,000 inhabitants. The project team is now evaluating its impact on the welfare of residents ages 70 and older.
Many households use commitment devices such as monthly mortgage payments, Social Security, and payroll 401(k) deductions to help them save. The Financial Literacy Center is trying to design a "new and improved" 401(k) that offers a better combination of liquidity and commitment than the current defined contribution pension.
Changing the Social Security Disability Insurance program rules could reduce caseload costs by encouraging a return to work, but it could also create unintended consequences by inducing more workers to apply for benefits.
When children with disabilities turn 18, most apply for SSI-disabled adult benefits without first looking for work. The Financial Literacy Center is developing a financial literacy tool for these young adults to teach the value of entering the labor market.
The application and appeals process for Social Security Dissability Insurance (SSDI) can take months if not years, during which time applicants are not allowed to work more than a limited amount. Understanding the true application costs of SSDI can help quantify the total wefare impact of the program.
Many displaced workers suffer near-permanent losses in earnings capacity, especially during economic downturns. Understanding the relationship between labor market shocks and the decision to claim disability or retirement benefits can help policymakers prepare for future recessions.
The RAND Center for Disability Research aims to better understand the social and economic causes and consequences of disability. Research themes include examining the roles of employers, health-care markets, knowledge networks, and social insurance programs.
To understand what policies and incentives influence the decisionmaking patterns of middle-aged and elderly Mexicans, RAND researchers used panel data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study to compare the retirement behavior of non-migrant Mexicans with those who had migration spells to the United States and later returned to Mexico.
Chile, Colombia, and Mexico each have fully-funded, defined-contribution social security systems, yet there are significant differences in system design and incentive that may affect individuals' participation. The research team compared the differences of individual coverage in the three countries' systems.
Mexico introduced personal retirement accounts in 1997, and it is important to understand who have been the winners and losers of this type of pension reform. The research team used social security administrative records to examine the effects of the Mexican pension system reform and model other outcomes.