Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Dismantling SolidarityCapitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael A. McCarthy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454226

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454226.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 27 May 2020

The Retirement Puzzle

The Retirement Puzzle

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 The Retirement Puzzle
Source:
Dismantling Solidarity
Author(s):

Michael A. McCarthy

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801454226.003.0001

This chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book analyzes the three paths followed by the development of old-age income security over the half century since the New Deal: occupational plans were adopted as a supplement to Social Security; their assets were invested by employers into the stock market; and, most recently, they were turned into 401(k) plans. In particular, it addresses three historical questions: Why was the collectively-bargained occupational pension system established after World War II in the place of real increases in Social Security benefits? Once these private systems were established, what explains the subsequent employer consolidation of pension fund control and the shift of their investment into the stock market, mimicking the investment trends in corporate finance? Why, within the system of employer-provided pensions, was there a subsequent shift toward much riskier defined-contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, away from the traditional defined-benefit plan in the late 1970s and 1980s. The book offer answers to each of these questions and provides a more general explanation of pension marketization through the use of comparative historical analysis.

Keywords:   old age income, retirement income, pension marketization, income security, defined-contribution plans, 401(k), defined-benefit plans, Social Security, private pension system

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.