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The share of Americans with defined contribution pension plans now exceeds the share of those with defined benefit plans. Wolff refers to this as the "great transformation" and it leads him to examine recent evidence to see whether there are winners and losers resulting from this switch away from traditional pension plans.


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  1. Introduction
  2. Recent Trends in Household Wealth, 1983-2009: Robust Growth Followed by Collapse
  3. Review of the Literature on Retirement Wealth and Retirement Adequacy
  4. The Slowdown in Pension Wealth Growth in the 2000s
  5. Stagnation of Retirement Wealth in the 2000s
  6. Differences in Retirement Wealth by Demographic and Household Characteristics
  7. Retirement Prospects
  8. Conclusions and Policy Recommendations


9780880993807 (cloth) ; 9780880993791 (pbk.) ; 9780880993906 (ebook)

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Retirement and pensions

The Transformation of the American Pension System: Was it Beneficial for Workers?




Wolff, Edward N. 2011. The Transformation of the American Pension System: Was It Beneficial for Workers? Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.