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Munnell and Sass explore whether equities could help solve the woes facing the U.S. retirement income system in general, and the Social Security shortfall in particular. They examine the experiences of three nations that added equities to the investment mix of their retirement systems—the U.K., Australia, and Canada. As these experiences show, while equities promise higher returns than government bonds, how they are implemented—as add-ons, carve-outs, or as trust fund supplements—matters greatly.


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  1. Introduction
  2. The Creation of Modern Retirement Income Systems
  3. The Retirement Income Challenge Facing the United States
  4. Lessons from the United Kingdom: Privatization and a Safety Net
  5. Lessons from Australia: Mandating “Add-On” Individual Accounts
  6. Lessons from Canada: Investing the Trust Fund in Equities
  7. Conclusions


9780-880992916 (cloth) ; 9780880992909 (pbk.) ; 9781429454896 (ebook)

Subject Areas

LABOR MARKET ISSUES; Retirement and pensions

Social Security and the Stock Market: How the Pursuit of Market Magic Shapes the System




Munnell, Alicia H., and Steven A. Sass. 2009. Social Security and the Stock Market: How the Pursuit of Market Magic Shapes the System. 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.