Friday, September 8, 2017

New papers from the Social Science Research Network

"Hispanics’ Understanding of Social Security and the Implications for Retirement Security: A Qualitative Study" Free Download
Social Security Bulletin: 77(3): 1-14 (2017)

LILA RABINOVICH, Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)
JANICE PETERSON, California State University
BARBARA A. SMITH, Government of the United States of America, Social Security Administration, Office of Retirement Policy

This article discusses why effective outreach to Hispanics is important to improve their understanding of Social Security and enhance their retirement security. It examines Social Security literacy and preferred ways of receiving information about the program by using focus groups of three ancestries (Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban) and of English and Spanish speakers. This article is one of the first to research between-group differences and discuss their implications.

"The Rotten Deal: Managed Mutual Funds and Retirement Income" Free Download

DAVID W. RASMUSSEN, Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy

About 70 percent of mutual fund assets are in managed funds. These funds seek to earn an above average return for investors but, because of the up-front loads, fees and other costs, they generally earn less than the low cost index funds that only seek to get a return equal to that of the stock market. Investors can expect their retirement savings to be reduced by 25 percent or more by favoring managed funds over index funds. The costs imposed on investors in managed funds result in tens of billions of dollars in profit for the industry. Compromised retirement savings is of public concern if government programs are going to support elderly households in need. Two policy options are explored. One is focused on educating investors about the rotten deal offered by managed funds while the other is to impose a fiduciary responsibility on the industry that requires them to act in the best interests of its clients. There is ample evidence that the industry will vigorously combat such efforts.

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