How Has the Shift to 401(k)s Affected the Retirement Age?

Alicia H. MunnellKevin E. Cahill Natalia Jivan

IB#13

Introduction

The trend toward earlier and earlier retirement has slowed and, perhaps, even reversed. A host of explanations are possible: the elimination of mandatory retirement, the cessation of the expansion of Social Security, the reduction of retirement incentives within Social Security, and the changing nature of the private pension system. This Issue in Brief explores the latter issue — how the shift in coverage from defined benefit to defined contribution plans may have affected the timing of retirement…