How Has the Shift to 401(k) Plans Affected Retirement Income?

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Using data from the 1992, 1998, 2004, and 2010 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), this paper compares pension participation, pension wealth, projected retirement income, and replacement rates attributable to past service, by pension type for households ages 51-56. The analysis includes workers’ pension coverage during both current and past jobs. Defined contribution (DC) wealth is simply the current account balance. DC income is calculated by projecting current plan balances to retirement, assuming no further contributions, and assuming that households then annuitize. Defined benefit (DB) wealth and income are calculated by apportioning projected benefits to past and future service.