Research & Analysis by Eric M. Engen

Lifetime Earnings, Social Security Benefits, and the Adequacy of Retirement Wealth Accumulation
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 66, No. 1 (released September 2005)
by Eric M. Engen, William G. Gale, and Cori E. Uccello

Issues addressed in this article include the adequacy of household retirement saving, controlling for lifetime earnings levels and uncertainty, and the examination of the role of Social Security in bolstering financial security. The authors show that reductions in Social Security benefits could have significant deleterious effects on the adequacy of saving, especially among low-income households. They also show that, controlling for lifetime earnings, households with high current earnings tend to save far more adequately than do other households.