Measuring Pension Wealth

Chris Cunningham, Gary V. Engelhardt, Anil Kumar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

3 Scopus citations


Pension wealth plays a critical role in older individuals' retirement behavior and financial security. Accordingly, the magnitude and distribution of pension wealth is important in the ongoing debate about whether Baby Boomers have adequate retirement savings. This chapter summarizes the results of a long-term effort to develop an improved calculator to measure defined contribution pension wealth of older Americans, implemented using the Health and Retirement Study. Results show that pension wealth resulting from voluntary saving (and accrued earnings thereon) comprises half of DC pension wealth calculated for HRS respondents with matched summary plan descriptions. These are lower mean estimates of DC pension wealth than previously found, mainly resulting from changes for the wealthiest tail of the pension-wealth distribution. The findings imply that researchers must think more carefully about the economic assumptions underlying pension measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRedefining Retirement
Subtitle of host publicationHow Will Boomers Fare?
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191710971
ISBN (Print)9780199230778
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007


  • Baby boomer
  • Defined contribution
  • Financial security
  • Health and retirement study
  • Pension wealth
  • Retirement
  • Saving adequacy
  • Voluntary saving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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