Trends and Projections in Income Replacement during Retirement

by James P. Smith

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price
Add to Cart Paperback27 pages Free

This article calculates retirement income-replacement rates for all labor market cohorts across the last 25 years and describes the changing contributions made by private pensions, social security, and assets. The factors on which replacement rates are sensitive include position in the income distribution, the use of after-tax instead of pretax incomes, the changing family composition of households between their pre- and postretirement years, and differential underreporting of income by age. The debate about reforming the U.S. retirement income system starts from a base where the current system offers high income-replacement rates for most households, especially low-income households.

Research conducted by

Originally published in: Journal of Labor Economics, v. 31, no. 4, 2003, pp. 755-781.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation reprint series. The Reprint was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1992 to 2011 that represented previously published journal articles, book chapters, and reports with the permission of the publisher. RAND reprints were formally reviewed in accordance with the publisher's editorial policy and compliant with RAND's rigorous quality assurance standards for quality and objectivity. For select current RAND journal articles, see External Publications.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.