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The U.S. retirement system, and the workers and retirees it was designed to help, face major challenges. Traditional pensions have become much less common, and individuals are increasingly responsible for planning and managing their own retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) plans.
What GAO Found The decline in marriage, rise in women's labor force participation, and transition away from defined benefit (DB) plans to defined contribution (DC) plans have resulted in changes in the types of retirement benefits households receive and increased vulnerabilities for some.
What GAO FoundAs with many other demographic groups, older workers unemployment overall and long-term unemployment rates have increased dramatically since the recession began in 2007. In December 2011, the unemployment rate for older workers was 6.0 percent, up from 3.
Women aged 65 and over will account for a growing segment of the U.S. population over the next several decades. Despite increases in women's workforce behavior in the past 65 years, elderly women have persistently high rates of poverty.
While many factors influence workers' decisions to retire, Social Security, Medicare, and pension laws also play a role, offering incentives to retire earlier and later. Identifying these incentives and how workers respond can help policy makers address the demographic challenges facing the nation.
State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies, under the Department of Education (Education), play a crucial role in helping individuals with disabilities prepare for and obtain employment, including individuals receiving disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).