Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab)

SCEPA's Retirement Equity Lab, led by economist and retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci, researches the causes and consequences of the retirement crisis that exposes millions of American workers to experiencing downward mobility in retirement.

ReLab Insights

Is the Adjustment of Social Security Benefits Actuarially Fair, and If So, for Whom?

Working Paper—Since the early 1990s, disparities in Social Security claim ages has grown, with high earners increasingly likely to delay claiming. A SCEPA working paper explores the returns and effects of claiming Social Security earlier versus delaying claiming these benefits.

How Expanding EITC Will Benefit 1.5 Million Low-Income Older Workers

Brief— SCEPA's research finds nearly 1.5 million low-income older workers would benefit from an expansion of the popular Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program. The report—released by our Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab)—finds without expanding the EITC, the program actually lowers wages among non-educated workers, especially those over 55.

Older Workers Are Forced Out of The Workforce

Research note— New research shows that even before the COVID-19 recession, 55.3 percent of workers age 55 and up in the bottom half of the income distribution were forced to leave the workforce and 32.4 percent in the next 40% of the income distribution – the middle class – were forced out of work in old age.

Older Workers Report

Older Workers at a Glance...

  • 4.9% U-3 Headline Unemployment
  • 11.4% ReLab’s U-7 Unemployment Rate (March 2021)
  • 36.4% Employment-to-Population Ratio
  • 1.7 million Additional Retirements*

Reset Retirement Podcast

Ep 5: Where Do We Go from Here?

Over the last four episodes, we’ve explored how individuals fare in today’s retirement system. In the final episode of our first season, we ask: where do we go from here?

Ep 4: How Long Can We Work?

One of the warning signs of the oncoming retirement crisis is that people are often told they can make up for a lack of retirement savings by working longer. 

Ep 3: Do We Get Shamed by the Retirement System?

In the United States, 8.5 million older people will fall from being middle-class into poverty when they retire if we don’t do anything. With so many at risk, why do people feel alone?

Resource Library

Working Longer Cannot Solve the Retirement Crisis

Brief— Working longer is often proposed as the solution to the retirement crisis caused by older workers’ lack of retirement assets, but new research from SCEPA's ReLab shows this assumption doesn't match older workers' real experiences in the labor market.

U.S. Retirement Plan Coverage Falls Even Farther

Research note— New research shows that even before the COVID-19 recession, only 36% of workers ages 25-64 were participating in a retirement plan at work, a five percentage point decrease from five years prior.

The Illusory Benefit of Working Longer on Financial Preparedness for Retirement

Working paper— Contrary to the predictions of theoretical models, working longer does not significantly increase the share of older workers who are financially prepared for retirement. 

Retirement Tools

Chartbook: Retirement Insecurity and Falling Bargaining Power

Brief— ReLab's chartbook documenting retirement insecurity and the decline in older workers' bargaining power is a resource for workers, employers, media, policymakers, scholars, and the broader public to answer questions about the state of older working America and retirement income security.

Guaranteed Retirement Accounts - How They Work

"A Primer on GRAs and How They Work" explains how Guaranteed Retirement Accounts address the retirement crisis. 

Guaranteed Retirement Account Endorsements

Find endorsements of our Guaranteed Retirement Account proposal in "Guaranteed Retirement Account Endorsements."