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The Impact of Late-Career Health and Employment Shocks on Social Security and Other Wealth


  • Richard W. Johnson
  • Gordon B.T. Mermin
  • Dan Murphy


Although health and employment shocks are fairly common at older ages and often derail retirement savings plans, Social Security’s disability insurance, spouse and survivor benefits, and progressive benefit formula may provide important protections. By contrast, traditional employer-sponsored pension benefits may be especially vulnerable to health and employment shocks immediately before benefit take-up, because pension wealth generally grows rapidly near the end of the career and workers forfeit these increases if they separate early. This study examines the impact of disability onset and job layoffs on Social Security wealth, traditional employer-sponsored pension wealth, and other household wealth for a nationally representative sample of workers age 51 to 55 in 1992...

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  • Richard W. Johnson & Gordon B.T. Mermin & Dan Murphy, 2007. "The Impact of Late-Career Health and Employment Shocks on Social Security and Other Wealth," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2007-26, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:crr:crrwps:wp2007-26

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    Cited by:

    1. Jody Schimmel Hyde & April Yanyuan Wu, "undated". "The Financial Vulnerability of Former Disability Beneficiaries in Retirement," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7414e13ae5964acdb3326e14d, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Austin Nichols & Melissa M. Favreault, 2008. "The Impact of Changing Earnings Volatility on Retirement Wealth," Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College wp2008-14, Center for Retirement Research, revised Dec 2008.
    3. Rosa Aísa & Fernando Pueyo & Marcos Sanso, 2012. "Life expectancy and labor supply of the elderly," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 545-568, January.
    4. David C. Stapleton, "undated". "Employment Support for the Transition to Retirement: Can a New Program Help Older Workers Continue to Work and Protect Those Who Cannot?," Mathematica Policy Research Reports aca13fdc8ba2439486551946d, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. repec:mpr:mprres:6248 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Jody Schimmel & David C. Stapleton, 2010. "Protecting the Household Incomes of Older Workers with Significant Health-Related Work Limitations in an Era of Fiscal Responsibility," Working Papers wp244, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.

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