RECENT developments fall 2017

Social Security Update
In its annual report on the financial well-being of the Social Security Trust Funds, the Social Security Board of Trustees stated that during 2016, an estimated 171 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes. Benefit payments were paid to 44 million retired workers and their dependents and 6 million survivors of deceased workers. Also in 2016, the asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund grew by $21.1 billion to a total of $2.8 trillion. The asset reserves of the OASI Trust Funds are projected to be exhausted in 2035, the same year as projected in 2015, with sufficient income to pay 75% of scheduled benefits. 

Putting Off Retirement
According to a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, almost 19% of Americans age 65 or older were working at least part-time during the second quarter of 2017. More specifically, the percentages of those working within the overall group broke out as follows: 65 to 69: 31.4%; 70 to 74: 18.9%; 75 and older: 7.6%. The BLS has estimated that 36.2% of Americans between the ages of 65 and 69 will be working in 2024 (an increase from 21.9% in 1994), as will 22.8% of individuals between ages 70 and 74, compared to 11.8% 30 years prior. 

Views on Retirement Plans
A study by the Investment Company Institute shows that, in the fall of 2016, 70% of U.S. households had very or somewhat favorable impressions of 401(k) and similar types of retirement accounts. Of households owning a defined contribution account, 90% stated that having an employer-sponsored retirement account helped them think about their long-term needs, and 44% stated they believed they probably would not save for retirement if they did not have a retirement plan at work.

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