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Highlights

Today's workers will rely to a large extent on Social Security, private pensions, and personal wealth for their retirement income. But some analysts question whether these sources will provide sufficient retirement income to maintain workers' standards of living once they leave the labor force. Indeed, the Social Security trust funds are projected to become exhausted in 2042, at which time, unless action is taken, Social Security will not be able to pay scheduled benefits in full. To gain an understanding of what today's workers might expect to receive in terms of retirement income, GAO was asked to examine (1) how the personal wealth of Baby Boom (born between 1946 and 1964) and Generation X (born between 1965 and 1976) workers compare with what current retirees had at similar ages, (2) how workers from the Baby Boom and Generation X compare in terms of the pension and Social Security benefits they can expect to receive, and (3) the likely distribution of pension and Social Security benefits across workers within the Baby Boom and Generation X.

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