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Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of Risk (A Columbia / SSRC Book (Privatization of Risk))

ISBN-13: 978-0231146944
ISBN-10: 0231146949
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Current economic turmoil has brought home to us all what pension experts have long been warning: that the prospects for retirement income security for a vast majority of Americans have been steadily eroding in recent decades. Therefore this volume is certainly timely, but it is also trenchant, and, mercifully, accessible to a concerned but non-specialist readership. The authors provide an excellent overview of the causes and consequences of this erosion—as well as reflections on the implications of the financial market crisis-and offer numerous well-thought-out remedies, ranging from strengthening the role of Social Security and modestly tweaking our voluntary private pension system to the creation of a new, mandatory 'third tier' of government supported, workplace-based retirement savings accounts. In short, a most valuable contribution to what should have been a more informed and wide-ranging debate than we have witnessed over the past several years.

(John L. Palmer, University Professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and former Public Trustee for Medicare and Social Security)
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