The brief’s key findings are:
- Surprisingly, the COVID-induced recession appears to have had little impact on retirement because:
- Social Security checks still go out and its finances are little changed;
- 401(k) contributions and balances seem relatively unaffected; and
- unemployment has not disproportionately hurt older workers.
- But the pre-COVID weaknesses remain: Social Security has a long-term deficit; 401(k) balances are inadequate; and older workers have trouble finding new jobs.
- In addition, the continued drop in real interest rates makes it harder to save, and the increased stress on states and localities makes it harder to fund their pensions.
- Most important, the reason for COVID’s lack of impact on retirement is that the people who have the least have borne the brunt of the pandemic.