Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fading retirement

Today's Boston Globe has a profile/story about Alicia Munnell, the top economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston: "Top economist says many face an old age of less money."
Munnell, who has run BC’s retirement research for 15 years, has studied pensions and Social Security since the 1960s. At that time, these benefits provided the foundation for retirement, contributing to a steady decline in the age people stopped working.
Demographic and economic changes weakened the old supports. Birth rates have declined, meaning there are fewer new workers to pay the costs of Social Security. Without changes, actuaries estimate that by 2033 the program won’t have enough money to cover promised benefits, requiring the government to cut payments to recipients or raise taxes.
The Social Security Trust Fund is really just an accounting trick and I suspect that in 2033 the Federal government will just keep borrowing from itself to pay full benefits.  We can always print more money.

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