Rescuing Retirement

A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans

Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James. Foreword by Timothy Geithner.

Columbia University Press

Rescuing Retirement

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Pub Date: January 2018

ISBN: 9780231185646

184 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $24.95£20.00

Pub Date: January 2018

ISBN: 9780231546270

184 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $23.99£18.99

Rescuing Retirement

A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans

Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James. Foreword by Timothy Geithner.

Columbia University Press

Everyone deserves to be able to retire with dignity, but this core feature of the social contract is in jeopardy. Companies have swerved away from pensions, and most of the workforce has woefully inadequate retirement savings. If we don’t act to fix this broken system, rates of impoverishment for senior citizens threaten to skyrocket, and tens of millions of Americans reaching retirement age in the coming decades will be forced to delay retirement and will experience a dramatic drop in their standard of living.

In Rescuing Retirement, Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James offer a comprehensive yet simple plan to help workers save for retirement, increase retirement savings by earning higher returns, and guarantee lifelong income for everyone. Built on people’s own money in individual Guaranteed Retirement Accounts, the plan requires no new taxes, no more bureaucracy, and no increase in the deficit. Speaking to Americans’ growing anxiety about their ability to retire, Rescuing Retirement provides answers to anyone wanting to understand the growing movement to protect a period of life once considered a deserved time of rest and creativity and offers a practical guide to the future of secure retirement.
Finally, a practical plan to address Americans’ lack of adequate retirement savings. This silent crisis, if not solved, will slow growth, challenge budgets, and hurt households across the United States. Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James are proposing a smarter, more cost-effective way of securing the retirements of all Americans. This plan is critical to warding off a looming retirement savings crisis. Michael Bloomberg
Rescuing Retirement presents a thoughtful and compelling view of how the current retirement system is failing our people—and offers a thought-provoking, pragmatic approach to substantially enhancing retirement security for every American. Robert Rubin, seventieth U.S. Treasury Secretary
Ghilarducci and James aim to eliminate the retirement savings gap for those earning under $100,000 through affordable, low-fee, mandatory accounts with automatic annuitization. The pairing of an expert retirement economist and a financial hotshot has produced an innovative approach to this critical policy challenge. We need every idea we can get! Alicia Munnell, director, Center for Retirement Research, Boston College
In the face of a daunting national crisis, Tony James and Teresa Ghilarducci have proposed a practical bipartisan solution that deserves the attention of business leaders, policy makers, and legislators. Jim Sinegal, cofounder and former CEO of Costco
Retiring with dignity shouldn’t be out of reach for so many Americans. Tony James and Teresa Ghilarducci’s plan is a bold and innovative fix to our broken retirement system. Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton Worldwide
Rescuing Retirement is an explicit call to action aimed directly at those with the greatest stake in the problem—the millions of workers, employers, and policy makers whose lives will be affected by the actions (or inaction) of today’s stakeholders. Stephanie Kelton, Stony Brook University
All workers should have the same retirement security and peace of mind that teachers, police officers, firefighters, and other public employees have earned and have fought hard to maintain. Ghilarducci and James's plan for universal, prefunded, secure-for-life pensionssupplements to Social Securityis a great exemplar of how to achieve a secure retirement. Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers
Ghilarducci and James never slip into wonk-speak or jargon, and lay readers will appreciate the way the authors make sense of complex economic issues. Publishers Weekly
Foreword, by Timothy Geithner
Acknowledgments
1. Society’s Retirement Crisis
2. How We Got Here: America’s Broken Retirement System
3. Six Key Problems: The Consequences of a Broken Retirement System
4. Rescuing Retirement: A Four-Pronged Solution
5. Case Studies: Similar Plans in Action
6. Why Not Just Expand Social Security?: Americans Need a Universal Pension System
7. Growing Support from the American People and a Mandate for Congress
8. The Employer's Stake in Retirement Reform
9. Conclusion
Questions and Answers on the Guaranteed Retirement Account
Appendix A: The Cost of a Principal Protection Guarantee
Appendix B: GRAs Versus Other Policy Solutions
Appendix C: Looking at Retirement Coverage Across the Country
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

Teresa Ghilarducci is the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research and the director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis and the New School’s Retirement Equity Lab. She is the author of When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them (2008) and How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is (2015).

Tony James is President and Chief Operating Officer of Blackstone, one of the world’s leading investment firms, which manages money for over 80 percent of participants in U.S. pension plans. He is a member of Blackstone’s Management Committee and sits on each of the firm’s investment committees. Mr. James is also the Chairman of the Board of Costco Wholesale Corporation and has served on a number of other corporate and non-profit Boards.