Longevity Policy: Facing Up to Longevity Issues Affecting Social Security, Pensions, and Older Workers

Longevity Policy: Facing Up to Longevity Issues Affecting Social Security, Pensions, and Older Workers

Longevity Policy: Facing Up to Longevity Issues Affecting Social Security, Pensions, and Older Workers

Longevity Policy: Facing Up to Longevity Issues Affecting Social Security, Pensions, and Older Workers

Synopsis

This book focuses on public policy issues concerning Social Security, pensions, and older workers that arise because people are living longer. The question it addresses is, "What should be the retirement policy responses to increased longevity?" Not only has increased longevity occurred for all major demographic groups, but people are healthier at older ages. This book draws on international experience to recommend solutions for U.S. policy.

Excerpt

Increases in life expectancy are no secret, yet government policy does not explicitly deal with their well-known consequences for Social Security financing. Every day 12,000 baby boomers turn 50. Continuing improvements in life expectancy mean that those people will live longer on average than any previous generation. That fortunate development, however, poses public policy challenges as to how to pay for the living costs of those added years.

This book focuses on public policy issues concerning Social Security, pensions, and older workers that arise because people are living longer. The question it addresses is, “What should be the retirement policy responses to increased longevity?” Not only has increased longevity occurred for all major demographic groups, but people are healthier at older ages. This book draws on international experience to recommend solutions for U.S. policy.

The premise of the book is that public policy should recognize longevity policy as a distinct area—as we do now, for example, for climate change. The reason longevity policy is best treated as a unified policy area is that the challenges arising from increased longevity are best dealt with when the interrelationships between work at older ages, Social Security, and pensions are recognized. Rather than separately treating the issues raised by life expectancy in policies toward older workers, and in other unrelated policies concerning Social Security and pensions, a unified approach toward policies concerning Social Security, pensions, and work at older ages would facilitate making needed changes in each of the areas. Because of interconnections between these three areas, policy will be more effective if it considers them together, rather than separately. Furthermore, the book argues that policy should be developed that is directly related to the effects of increasing life expectancy.

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