The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 7, 2009
Study that says defined pension benefits crucial to reducing elder poverty

The National Institute on Retirement Security has a new study that says,

Defined benefit pension income plays a critical role in reducing the risk of poverty and hardship for older Americans. Poverty rates among older households lacking pension income are about six times greater than those with such income.

The study finds that pensions reduce - and in some cases eliminate - the greater risk of poverty and public assistance dependence that women and minority populations otherwise would face, The Pension Factor reveals ...

Key findings indicate that pension receipt among older American households in 2006 was associated with:

  • 1.72 million fewer poor households and 2.97 million fewer near-poor households
  • 560,000 fewer households experiencing a food hardship
  • 380,000 fewer households experiencing a shelter hardship
  • 320,000 fewer households experiencing a health care hardship
  • 1.35 million fewer households receiving means-tested public assistance
  • $7.3 billion in public assistance expenditures savings, representing about 8.5 percent of aggregate public assistance dollars received by all American households for the same benefit programs

If you click here, you'll see a summary of the report with links to the full study, a press release, a fact sheet and an FAQ.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at jortiz@sacbee.com.

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