Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of Risk

Edited by Mitchell A. Orenstein

Columbia University Press

Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of Risk

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Pub Date: April 2009

ISBN: 9780231146951

138 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $25.00£19.00

Pub Date: April 2009

ISBN: 9780231146944

138 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $75.00£56.00

Pub Date: April 2009

ISBN: 9780231519274

138 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $24.99£19.00

Pensions, Social Security, and the Privatization of Risk

Edited by Mitchell A. Orenstein

Columbia University Press

As Social Security, workplace pensions, and individual retirement accounts become more insecure, America's pension system is in serious need of rehabilitation. In this timely volume, Mitchell A. Orenstein and his distinguished colleagues Gary Burtless, Teresa Ghilarducci, and Alicia Munnell argue that any reform of the U.S. pension system must address both future imbalances in the Social Security program and weaknesses in the workplace and individual retirement systems on which a growing number of Americans now rely. Weighing what is gained against what is lost as new proposals surface, this book offers a clear account and reasoned analysis of the looming crisis, as well as our collective alternatives both domestically and abroad.

Current economic turmoil has brought home to us all what pension experts have long been warning: that the prospects for retirement income security for a vast majority of Americans have been steadily eroding in recent decades. Therefore this volume is certainly timely, but it is also trenchant, and, mercifully, accessible to a concerned but non-specialist readership. The authors provide an excellent overview of the causes and consequences of this erosion—as well as reflections on the implications of the financial market crisis-and offer numerous well-thought-out remedies, ranging from strengthening the role of Social Security and modestly tweaking our voluntary private pension system to the creation of a new, mandatory 'third tier' of government supported, workplace-based retirement savings accounts. In short, a most valuable contribution to what should have been a more informed and wide-ranging debate than we have witnessed over the past several years.

John L. Palmer, University Professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and former Public Trustee for Medicare and Social Security

Recommended.

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Contents
Introduction, by Mitchell A. Orenstein
1. Retirements at Risk, by Alicia H. Munnell
2. Expanding Participation in America's Workplace Retirement System, by Gary Burtless
3. Financial Market Turbulence and Social Security Reform, by Gary Burtless
4. The Plan to Save American Workers' Retirements
5. Learning from International Experience, by Mitchell A. Orenstein
List of Contributors
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About the Author

Mitchell A. Orenstein is S. Richard Hirsch Associate Professor of European Studies at the Washington, D.C.-based Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Privatizing Pensions: The Transnational Campaign for Social Security Reform.