Sources of retirement income
May 23, 2001
The traditional ideal of retirement income is the three-legged stool of Social Security, employer-provided retirement plan, and personal savings.
This ideal is not widely achieved, in part because employer-provided plans are not universal and in part because many retirees have little or no income from savings. In fact, earnings from work were slightly higher than income from assets or employer benefits in 1998.
Social Security was the largest source of retirement income, accounting for 37.6 percent of income in 1998 for those aged 65 and older, on average. Earnings accounted for 20.7 percent, income from assets 19.9 percent, and employer benefits 18.7 percent.
Read more about retirement issues in "Changing retirement age: ups and downs," by William J. Wiatrowski, Monthly Labor Review, April 2001. The income data for that Monthly Labor Review article were obtained from the Social Security Administration.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Sources of retirement income on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2001/may/wk3/art03.htm (visited January 19, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- A look at employment and wages in U.S. establishments with foreign ownership
Examines employment and wages in U.S. establishments that have at least one foreign owner with at least 10 percent ownership.
- 25 years of Worker Injury, Illness, and Fatality Case Data
Examines detailed historical data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries.
- Occupational employment projections through the perspective of education and training
Examines employment, projected employment growth, and wages for occupations with different education and training requirements.
- Workers in Alternative Employment Arrangements
A look at independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers, and workers provided by contract firms.