In Brief: Employment Support for the Transition to Retirement: Can a New Program Help Older Workers Work Longer and Protect Those Who Cannot?

Source: David C. Stapleton, AARP Public Policy Institute, Research Report, April 2009

From the summary:
In a research paper for the AARP Public Policy Institute, David Stapleton of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., proposes a new program that could help “break the deadlock” that stymies efforts to adopt policies that encourage later retirement. Stapleton describes a program which he calls Employment Support for the Transition to Retirement (ESTR).

Stapleton envisions a program that would provide assistance to workers who experience large involuntary earnings losses as they approach age 62. He calls for a wide range of benefits, tailored to individual need–including wage subsidies and other work supports, health insurance subsidies, disability benefits, extended unemployment benefits, and employment counseling. The elements of ESTR are not new; they can be found in existing federal and state programs that benefit older workers. What is new is the idea of a substantial and coordinated expansion of these elements in the context of retirement policy reform.

A fundamental question about ESTR is whether it will be possible, in a practical, administrative context, to draw a line between voluntary and involuntary reductions in the worker’s earnings.
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