By: Anna Rappaport, Moderator

Published: January, 2006

Presentations from the roundtable session, “Danger Signals Ahead: Challenges Raised by Public and Professional Knowledge of Retirement Risks and Planning,” at Older and Out of Work: Jobs and Social Insurance for a Changing Economy, the 18th annual conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance, January 19-20, 2006.

Participants: Anna Rappaport, Anna Rappaport Consulting (moderator), Mathew Greenwald, President, Mathew Greenwald and Associates, John Turner, Senior Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute, Emily Kessler, Staff Actuary, Society of Actuaries

Summary: Some people who are writing and speaking about our aging society expect that many Americans, particularly Boomers, will work longer and in some cases never retire, thus reducing the need for retirement assets. Additionally, some experts are encouraging people to consider 40% to 50% of pre-retirement income as an adequate retirement benefit. Are these assumptions realistic? What are the implications given the decline in employer-sponsored post-retirement benefits? This session examined these questions and presented new research showing that people lack the knowledge to handle retirement planning in a defined-contribution world.

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