Sunday, April 19, 2009

AARP Research Report Explores New Means for Transitioning to Retirement

An AARP research report has been published exploring the concern that policies being explored to extend working lives—-and delay the claiming of Social Security benefits—-as a means to ensure workers' retirement security and Social Security's finances may inflict real hardship on some older workers who retire earlier because of health and related problems. Accordingly, in "Employment Support for the Transition to Retirement: Can a New Program Help Older Workers Continue to Work and Protect Those Who Cannot?", David Stapleton of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., proposes a new program--Employment Support for the Transition to Retirement (ESTR)--that could help “break the deadlock” that stymies efforts to adopt policies that encourage later retirement.

Stapleton's vision of ESTR is that it would provide assistance to workers who experience large involuntary earnings losses as they approach age 62. It would provide a wide range of benefits, tailored to individual need—including wage subsidies and other work supports, health insurance subsidies, disability benefits, extended unemployment benefits, and employment counseling. While not individually new, what is new is the idea of a substantial and coordinated expansion of these elements in the context of retirement policy reform.

Source: AARP Research Report In Brief (April 2009)

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