By Area of Research:
April 10, 2017 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogThe New York Times had an article recently about academics and financial advisers who want to bring back a Baroque-era investment vehicle—the tontine—where an annual dividend is split among surviving investors (the Washington Post had a similar story two years ago).
March 13, 2017 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogOK, maybe it’s a slight exaggeration, but almost everyone—99 percent of Americans and all members of Congress—will win if the GOP health plan fails.
March 1, 2017 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogThe rule, by design, will prevent people from receiving conflicted advice, that is to say, bad advice, but will not adversely affect retirement savers. The delay is simply an attempt by the Trump administration, which is packed with Wall Street alumni, to enable financial firms to continue to pick savers’ pockets.
February 15, 2017 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogWhile the headlines are dominated by White House leaks and personnel scandals, the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress have been quietly helping the financial industry siphon off your retirement savings
January 13, 2017 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogI seem to have hit a nerve by pointing out that a paper purporting to compare public- and private-sector workers in Connecticut excluded 82 percent of public-sector workers from the sample used to compare wages and salaries.
January 4, 2017 | By Monique Morrissey | Blog401(k)s were never intended to replace pensions, so it should be no surprise that they aren’t up to the task.
December 20, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogThe latest proposal, from House Social Security Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-Texas), actually slashes benefits even more than would be sufficient to close Social Security’s projected shortfall. The extra savings generated by these cuts is used to reduce taxes on higher-income households.
December 6, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogWith a raised hand, my daughter’s teacher can magically line up 20 kindergarteners who are running circles around a loud gym.
December 6, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | ReportSummary The Yankee Institute for Public Policy has published a report claiming that compensation for public-sector workers in Connecticut is 25 percent to 46 percent higher than for comparable workers in the private sector.
October 13, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | Economic SnapshotHispanic workers lag far behind other workers in retirement plan participation. In 2012, just 34 percent of prime-working-age Hispanic workers employed 35 or more hours per week were enrolled in an employer-based plan, compared with 59 percent of their non-Hispanic white counterparts.
June 15, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | TestimonyThank you for inviting me to testify today. My name is Monique Morrissey. I am an economist at the Economic Policy Institute and author of The State of American Retirement: How 401(k)s Have Failed Most American Workers, an interactive chartbook accessible through EPI’s website, www.epi.org.
June 7, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogThe Washington Post’s editorial board has been arguing for Social Security benefit cuts for years, so their negative reaction to the president’s call to expand the program should come as no surprise.
April 6, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogA rule requiring investment advisors to act in the best interest of clients saving for retirement was released today despite a six-year campaign to weaken or kill it. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and his staff deserve enormous credit for persevering.
Women over 65 are more likely to be poor than men, regardless of race, educational background, and marital status
March 8, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | Economic SnapshotWomen age 65 and older are much more likely to be poor than their male counterparts—and older, minority and unmarried women are at greatest risk.
March 3, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | ReportThe shift from pensions to account-type savings plans has been a disaster for lower-income, black, Hispanic, non-college-educated, and single workers, who together add up to a majority of the American population. But even among upper-income white college-educated married couples, many do not have adequate retirement savings or benefits.
February 18, 2016 | By Monique Morrissey | Economic SnapshotThe gap in retirement savings is even larger than the gap in retirement plan participation. In 2013, white families between the ages of 32 and 61 had nearly five times as much wealth in retirement accounts as their black counterparts—or nearly $100,000 more in retirement savings.
October 28, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogMany of us reacted to the tentative budget deal with surprised relief. Assuming the agreement holds, the White House was able to lift the debt ceiling and end the sequester without losing limbs in the process, as my colleague Ross Eisenbrey aptly put it.
October 15, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | Economic Snapshot401(k)s have largely displaced traditional defined benefit pensions among private-sector workers, but they are not a major source of retirement income for seniors.
September 24, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogAlarming statistics that show large declines in the employment and labor force participation of Americans with disabilities are often cited to support the claim that workers in poor health but able to work are increasingly opting out of the workforce to claim disability benefits.
August 14, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogEighty years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. Four and a half years later—after the German invasion of Poland but still two years before Pearl Harbor propelled the United States into war—65-year-old Ida May Fuller received the first Social Security check for $22.54. She would live to be 100 years old.
July 20, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogIt is reasonable to ask why there has been an increase in the share of awards for musculoskeletal conditions, and why increases in life expectancy due to such factors as a steep decline in smoking and advances in the treatment of cardiovascular disease haven’t led to a decline in overall disability, especially since fewer jobs now require hard physical labor.
July 15, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogIs it possible that SSDI has a noticeable impact on labor force participation, a measure that includes unemployed workers actively looking for work? It might, but as will be detailed in this blog post, there are more likely explanations for the relative decline in labor force participation in the United States compared to Europe, including more supportive labor market policies in Europe.
July 8, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | Blog(This is the third of six blog posts on disability.) In two earlier blog posts, I look at evidence compiled in Senate testimony by Stanford economist Mark Duggan arguing that financial incentives are driving a growth in disability rolls.
July 1, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogAre disability benefits becoming more generous? The average benefit awarded is roughly a third of the average wage, a ratio that has remained essentially unchanged since 1985. And as Harvard economist Jeffrey Liebman points out, rising inequality and other factors have reduced the value of disability benefits relative to productivity per worker.
June 29, 2015 | By Monique Morrissey | BlogA closer look at the evidence shows that SSDI benefits have become, if anything, less generous. Moreover, even research cited by critics shows SSDI receipt has a negligible impact on work effort because few applicants, including marginal applicants who were denied benefits, are able to earn a living afterward.