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Retirement Plan Coverage of Boomers: Analysis of 2003 SIPP Data

The pension coverage and retirement prospects of baby boomers are a growing concern among economists, policy experts and demographers. Using the most recent data from the Census Bureau’s 2003 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this update of the 2004 edition of this AARP Public Policy Institute Data and Chart Book examines various components of retirement coverage among five population groups delineated on the basis of their age in 2003:

  • Post-boomers – ages 16 to 37
  • Younger boomers – ages 38 to 47
  • Older boomers – ages 48 to 57
  • Pre-retirees – ages 58 to 64
  • Retirees – age 65 and older

Also examined are subgroups of this workforce divided by gender, race, income, education and class of worker.

Retirement coverage components are defined by three broad measures:

  • Current Pension Coverage – pension plan coverage at one’s current primary job, analyzed by type, including defined benefit (DB), cash balance (CB), and defined contribution (DC) plans
  • Career Pension Coverage – coverage obtained at any time during a career (i.e., the current primary job, current secondary job, or any previous job)
  • Any Coverage – retirement plan coverage at any time from any source, including employer-sponsored pension plans during a career, and IRA and Keogh accounts

The book presents data in easy-to-understand and frequently self-explanatory tables, charts and graphs. Instead of detailed analyses, explanations are brief and the main themes are highlighted in a few lines wherever necessary. The book also highlights the retirement coverage from previous employment, lump-sum distributions, pension rollovers, and monthly pensions. In addition, a brief section is devoted to IRAs and the retirement coverage of women by their marital status and race. (50 pages)