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Retirement Research Consortium

The Retirement Research Consortium (RRC) consists of three multidisciplinary centers housed in three separate institutions (Boston College, the University of Michigan, and the National Bureau of Economic Research) and is funded through cooperative agreements with the Social Security Administration. The current five-year cooperative agreements run from FY2014 through FY2018.

The RRC has three main goals:

  • Research and evaluate a wide array of topics related to Social Security and retirement policy,
  • Disseminate information on Social Security and retirement issues relevant to policymakers, researchers, and the general public, and
  • Train scholars and practitioners in research areas relevant to
    Social Security and retirement issues.

Read More About…
the RRC's evolution and research contributions in a series of articles in the Social Security Bulletin.

To meet these goals, the centers perform many activities. They conduct research, prepare policy briefs and working papers, hold an annual meeting, and provide research and training support for young scholars. Links to recent RRC research are provided below. For further information about RRC activities, affiliated institutions, or individual researchers, please visit the websites of the respective institutions:

Recent RRC Research

View RRC Research by Priority Research Area  |  View Archived Research

Abstracts:show all / hide all
February 2015

The Impact of Leakages from 401(k)s and IRAs

by Alicia H. Munnell and Anthony Webb
SSA Project # BC14-04
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Working Paper 2015-02

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As Social Security replacement rates decline, retirees will become more dependent on 401(k)s and IRAs. Previous research has yielded a wide range of estimates of the magnitude of leakages from these plans and may not fully account for the recent shift to IRAs. This project will calculate both the size of leakages relative to contributions and their impact on wealth at retirement.
November 2014

Are Retirees Falling Short? Reconciling the Conflicting Evidence

by Alicia H. Munnell, Matthew S. Rutledge, and Anthony Webb
SSA Project # BC14-07 • Wealth and Retirement Income
Center for Retirement Research at Boston College Working Paper 2014-16

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This paper examines conflicting assessments of whether people will have adequate retirement income to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. The studies that it examines use data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), and the HRS supplement Consumption and Activities Mail Survey (CAMS). Critical components of the analysis are behavioral assumptions about household consumption patterns when children leave home and when households retire. A key limitation is that the behavioral assumptions in the different studies are based on incomplete knowledge of actual household behavior.