The Impact of Interest Rates on the National Retirement Risk Index

Alicia H. MunnellAnthony Webb Rebecca Cannon Fraenkel

IB#13-9

The brief’s key findings are:

  • The National Retirement Risk Index shows that changes in interest rates have only a modest effect on retirement preparedness for three reasons:
    • Most households have relatively little financial wealth to annuitize.
    • The effect on annuity income is muted, because the principal portion of the annuity payout is unaffected by interest rates.
    • Changes in the annuity income from a reverse mortgage are partly offset by changes in the amount that can be borrowed.