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The Neoliberal Political Economy and Erosion of Retirement Security

The Neoliberal Political Economy and Erosion of Retirement Security The origins and trajectory of the crisis in the United States retirement security system have slowly become part of the discussion about the social, political, and economic impacts of population aging. Private sources of retirement security have weakened significantly since 1980 as employers have converted defined benefits precisions to defined contribution plans. The Center for Retirement Research (CRR) now estimates that over half of boomer generation retirees will not receive 70–80% of their wages while working. This erosion of the private retirement security system will likely increase reliance on the public system, mainly Social Security and Medicare. These programs, however, have increasingly become the targets of critics who claim that they are not financially sustainable in their current form and must be significantly modified. This article will focus on an analysis of these trends in the erosion of the United States retirement security system and their connection to changes in the United States political economy as neoliberal, promarket ideology, and policies (low taxes, reduced spending, and deregulation) have become dominant in the private and public sectors. The neoliberal priority on reducing labor costs and achieving maximum shareholder value has created an environment inimical to maintain the traditional system of pension and health care benefits in both the private and public sectors. This article explores the implications of these neoliberal trends in the United States economy for the future of retirement security. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Gerontologist Oxford University Press

The Neoliberal Political Economy and Erosion of Retirement Security

The Gerontologist , Volume 55 (2) – Apr 9, 2015

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References (65)

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
ISSN
0016-9013
eISSN
1758-5341
DOI
10.1093/geront/gnv006
pmid
26035594
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The origins and trajectory of the crisis in the United States retirement security system have slowly become part of the discussion about the social, political, and economic impacts of population aging. Private sources of retirement security have weakened significantly since 1980 as employers have converted defined benefits precisions to defined contribution plans. The Center for Retirement Research (CRR) now estimates that over half of boomer generation retirees will not receive 70–80% of their wages while working. This erosion of the private retirement security system will likely increase reliance on the public system, mainly Social Security and Medicare. These programs, however, have increasingly become the targets of critics who claim that they are not financially sustainable in their current form and must be significantly modified. This article will focus on an analysis of these trends in the erosion of the United States retirement security system and their connection to changes in the United States political economy as neoliberal, promarket ideology, and policies (low taxes, reduced spending, and deregulation) have become dominant in the private and public sectors. The neoliberal priority on reducing labor costs and achieving maximum shareholder value has created an environment inimical to maintain the traditional system of pension and health care benefits in both the private and public sectors. This article explores the implications of these neoliberal trends in the United States economy for the future of retirement security.

Journal

The GerontologistOxford University Press

Published: Apr 9, 2015

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