A Challenge to the GAO’s Retirement Security Report

Andrew Biggs, Forbes contributor and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, takes exception to the Government Accounting Office’s assertion that “Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings” in an article posted on www.forbes.com. Biggs’ article, titled “What the GAO’s Skewed Retirement Saving Report Doesn’t Tell You,” questions several of the report’s basic conclusions: the percentage of older U.S. adults dependent primarily on Social Security for retirement income, the supposition that retirees are spending a greater share of their incomes on health expenses, and the impact of the shift from defined benefit retirement plans to defined contribution plans, to name several points of disagreement.

Biggs’ article cites evidence that does not support several of the GAO’s key conclusions, although it does concur with the need for fundamental restructuring of the U.S. retirement system, based at least in part on “the more supportable conclusion that retirement saving is generally solid and improving in various ways, but could use further improvements if all Americans are to be able to support themselves in retirement.”

Read his thought-provoking article here…


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