Household Economic Shocks Increase Retirement Wealth Inequality

April 9, 2016

Economic shocks, such as job-loss, have particularly adverse effects on retirement savings of workers in low-income households, exacerbating retirement savings inequality.

Low income households are more likely than moderate- and upper-income households to experience economic shocks. Workers in low-income households are also more likely to withdraw from their retirement account after a shock. This study shows that these shocks have significant effects on the finances of low-income households, causing up to a third of all withdrawals, and possibly more.

Authors: Teresa Ghilarducci, Bridget Fisher, Siavash Radpour, and Anthony Webb
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