July 26, 2012, Rates of poverty among older households lacking pension income were approximately nine times greater than the rates among older households with DB pension income in 2010, up from six times greater in 2006 a new study calculates.
- 4.7 million fewer poor and near-poor households
- 460,000 fewer households that experienced a food insecurity hardship
- 500,000 fewer households that experienced a shelter
- 510,000 fewer households that experienced a health care
- 1.22 million fewer households receiving means-tested public assistance
- a continued decrease in rates of DB pension income receipt likely related to more than three decades of declining DB plan participation rates among active employees.
- increasing numbers of older American workers will be entering retirement without the security of a pension.
- older households with pension income generally fared better during the recent economic turmoil relative to households without such income.
- income from pensions may be especially important to middle income American households.
- lower rates of DB pension receipt are found among older persons living in the West and South relative to other regions.
- pensions have helped many older minority and female-headed households escape poverty.
The analysis was conducted using the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income Program Participation (SIPP) panels. The study sample included SIPP respondents age 60 years or older and all households with a head age 60 and older, who had records in both the Pension and Adult Well-Being topical modules of the survey.