The Pension Factor 2012: The Role of Pensions in Reducing Elder Economic Hardships

Source: Frank Porell and Diane Oakley, National Institute on Retirement Security, July 2012

From the summary:
A new study calculates the impact of pensions for reducing the risk of elder American poverty and hardship, particularly for households headed by women and racial/ethnic minority groups.

The study finds that rates of poverty among older households lacking defined benefit (DB) pension income were approximately nine times greater than the rates among older households with DB pension income in 2010, up from six times greater in 2006 a new study calculates. Older households with lifetime pension income are far less likely to experience food, shelter, and health care hardship, and less reliant on public assistance. The data also indicate that pensions are a factor in preventing middle class Americans from slipping into poverty during retirement.

The report estimates that in 2010, DB pension receipt among older American households was associated with:

– 4.7 million fewer poor and near-poor households
– 460,000 fewer households that experienced a food insecurity hardship
– 500,000 fewer households that experienced a shelter
– 510,000 fewer households that experienced a health care
– 1.22 million fewer households receiving means-tested public assistance

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