In the coming years, the prospects for financial support in retirement are likely to change dramatically. Personnel retirement savings programs in particular will play a much more central role. The rapid expansion of 401(K) plans that has occurred in the last fifteen years seems likely to continue, and 401 (k) assets will become a new """"""""pillar"""""""" of retirement saving. The goal of this sub-project is to understand how the continued spread of 401(K) plans is likely to affect the financial circumstances of future elderly households. The project will first project the 401(K) assets of future retirees, by lifetime earnings decile, and then assess the financial risk associated with the asset allocations chosen by participants in personal retirement savings plans. In addition it will assess the likely effect of personal retirement saving on the level and the composition of wealth of future retirees, and evaluate the adequacy of the private annuity market in the face of an enormous increase in personally directed retirement plans. The sub-project will also monitor any expansion of IRA saving that results from the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and evaluate the net saving effect of these new contributions on household preparation for retirement. Although directed to 401(k) and other personal retirement savings plan the analysis will also provide evidence on the potential uncertainties associated with the flow of retirement income from personal savings contemplated in some proposed Social Security reforms, and compare these with current retirement income risks.

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National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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