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Reimagining PensionsThe Next 40 Years$
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Olivia S. Mitchell and Richard C. Shea

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198755449

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198755449.001.0001

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Introduction: Changing Frameworks for Retirement Security

Introduction: Changing Frameworks for Retirement Security

(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction: Changing Frameworks for Retirement Security
Reimagining Pensions

Olivia S. Mitchell

Oxford University Press

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in the United States was passed in 1974 to address corporate pension underfunding and set new rules regarding defined benefit (DB) and other retirement plans. Despite the bill’s far-ranging scope, in the years since its passage it has become evident that ERISA failed to achieve many of its intended objectives. The corporate pension scene today is in turmoil, and most private employers have terminated or frozen their traditional defined benefit plans. In their place, employers are increasingly substituting defined contribution (DC) retirement saving plans, which pose a new set of responsibilities on employees and their firms. This volume investigates how and why traditional approaches to pension risk management have failed and explores new mechanisms that can help strengthen retirement security for the future. This chapter provides an overview and roadmap for the volume, setting the context for the remaining chapters.

Keywords:   pensions, defined benefit, defined contribution, ERISA, retirement system reform

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