TCRS Retirement Articles

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The Saver's Credit: A Tax Credit to Promote Retirement Security

by Catherine Collinson | Bloomberg Tax Insights & Commentary | May 2022

Twenty years since its establishment, the Saver's Credit has proven to be an important financial incentive for retirement savers. However, fewer than half of U.S. workers are aware of the Saver's Credit, according to a 2021 survey by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies in collaboration with Transamerica Institute. Catherine Collinson shares recommendations for policymakers to enhance and expand the Saver's Credit so that more people can benefit from it and help improve their retirement security. Read more.

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10 Ideas to Improve the Retirement Outlook for Women

by Catherine Collinson | International Foundation's Benefits Magazine | September 2021

Despite the tremendous progress in gender equality in recent decades, women continue to be at greater risk of not achieving a financially secure retirement than men. According to a 2020 survey by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, women have saved $28,000 in all household retirement accounts, which is less than half of the $69,000 reported by men (estimated medians). This is the current state of the gender gap in retirement savings. Catherine Collinson shares 10 ideas to enhance workplace benefits and business practices to help close that gap and improve women’s retirement outlook. Read more.

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Amid the Pandemic: Seven Win-Win Solutions to Support Employee Health and Financial Well-Being

by Catherine Collinson | Benefits Quarterly | January 2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many U.S. workers feel anxious or depressed (42 percent), have trouble making ends meet (38 percent), and feel isolated and lonely (31 percent), according to a 2020 survey conducted by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS). Employers are faced with the daunting task of providing opportunities to help support their employees’ health and financial security while managing the profitability of their businesses during the pandemic. Here are seven solutions that employers can consider to improve their outlooks. Read More.

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COVID-19 and the Future of Aging: What Older Workers Need 

by Catherine Collinson | Next Avenue | January 2021

Looking across generations, older workers are significantly less likely to have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than their younger counterparts. Despite older workers’ resilience, they still face the challenge of detrimental stereotypes. These challenges present lasting effects on older workers’ ability to earn more and save for retirement. How do we write a new story in which older workers continue earning income and saving for retirement for as long as they want and need? Catherine Collinson, a leader in the field of retirement research, shares opportunities to support older workers. Read More.

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What ‘Retirement’ Means Now

by Eilene Zimmerman | The New York Times | September 2019

The concept of retirement has changed over time and now people have a new vision for life after 65. A 2018 survey found the way people envision retirement has shifted to include ideas such as continuing to work in some capacity. Retirement age is something everyone thinks about, but how we each ponder this part of life is different. Catherine Collinson, a leading researcher in the field of retirement, has information to offer about the changing reality of life after 65 for all workers. Read More. 

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Retiree Reflections: Seven Ways Employers Can Do More to Help Workers Prepare for Retirement 

by Catherine Collinson | Benefits Quarterly | July 2019

Many retirees are financially vulnerable and a 2018 retirement survey shows only 18% are very confident they will be able to retire with a comfortable lifestyle throughout retirement. The same survey found that many of these retirees retired early. Early retirement may leave you financially vulnerable because of extra years that were not used to save. How could employers have done more to help their employees better prepare for retirement? Here are seven ways employers could have done better. Read more.


Becoming Aging-Friendly 

by Catherine Collinson | Life & Health Advisor | November 2018 

Today’s unemployment rate in the United States is the lowest that it has been in almost 50 years. There are more experienced employees in the workforce and it is in the best interest of employers to consider becoming age-friendly.  A 2017 retirement research report identified specific opportunities for employee benefits advisers to share with their clients. If a revamp of employee benefits plans is a topic of conversation for you, here are eight opportunities you should consider.  Read More

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Catherine Collinson: Analyzing Retirement Trends Around the World

by Richard Eisenberg | Next Avenue | September 2018

With people living longer it is imperative to consider what that means for your retirement and finances. Catherine Collinson, a 2018 Influencer in Aging, is a leading researcher and trendspotter on the topic of retirement. The work she does highlights the latest trends, issues, and opportunities workers and their employers face when it comes to retirement. Her research spans both the United States and the globe as well. Her number one goal is to help more people have financially secure retirements. Read More.

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Disrupt the current retirement system or be disrupted 

by Catherine Collinson | The Hill | June 2018

Mega-trends are transforming the global economy, national agendas and daily life. Some of these trends bring unprecedented opportunities for improving lives while others are disrupting long-standing societal constructs — including the now wobbly “three-legged stool” for retirement. A 2018 global retirement survey illustrates the imperative for change in the U.S. and abroad and sets forth nine essential features for a modernized retirement system. We must work together and forge a new social contract for retirement that is flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing times. Read more.

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Don't Let Debt Sabotage Your Retirement 

by Catherine Collinson | Next Avenue | April 2018

Workers age 50+ are increasingly at risk of being sabotaged by debt and one of the biggest saboteurs is borrowing from a 401(k). A 2017 retirement survey found debt to be a concerning theme among workers age 50+. Increasing rates of debt may be eroding the long-term financial security of many workers who are nearing retirement. So if you’re in a pickle having to borrow money for school, buying a car, home purchase, here are six tips to manage debt. Read more


Let's Unlock the Economic Potential of Older Workers 

by Catherine Collinson | Milken Institute | January 2018 

Raising the retirement age is a commonly referenced solution for Social Security because people are living longer than ever. Still persisting, however, is the negative stereotypes about aging. The reality of today’s workforce is that it is a multigenerational one. According to a retirement research report, many workers envision a flexible retirement. Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, gives us a choice: accept the status quo and its host of issues, or we can modernize our beliefs on the business of aging. Read More

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Are Your Older Employees Thinking Differently About Retirement?

by Catherine Collinson | HR Daily Advisor | October 2017

Today’s workers, many of whom are still recovering from the Great Recession, are seeking to extend their working lives because they want or need the income and benefits, and to a lesser extent because they enjoy what they do. Employers are at a crossroads where they can choose to recognize new retirement paradigms or continue to resist them. A 2017 retirement survey illustrates the need to help older workers transition into retirement. Employers have the opportunity to implement new practices to meet the needs of their experienced workers. Read more.  


The Saver's Credit: A Case Study About a Little-Known Tax Credit That Pays to Save for Retirement 

by Catherine Collinson | The Aspen Institute | February 2017 

It may sound too good to be true: a tax credit that can lower a taxpayer’s bill if he or she saves for retirement in a tax-favored retirement account. But yes, the IRS has a tax credit that pays people to save for retirement. A 2016 retirement research report illustrates the need for more awareness of the Save’s Credit, a tax incentive available to the public to save more for their retirement. So if you ever feel yourself falling short on retirement savings, consider learning about the Saver’s Credit. Read more.


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DCIIA Plan Sponsor Survey 2014: Focus on Automatic Plan Features

by Various Authors | DCIIA | June 2015

DCIIA research findings show that using automatic enrollment and automatic contribution escalation increases retirement plan participation rates as well as retirement savings rates.The survey identifies both the promise of what is possible and the barriers that remain to adoption of automatic features in a number of plans. Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, is one of whitepaper’s authors.

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Behavioral finance and pension decisions

by Lampros Romanos 
in conjuction with Erasmus University Rotterdam and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

An extensive literature review and a focused analysis on how framing effects, financial literacy, self-control and loss aversion affect pension decisions

The retirement landscape is rapidly changing with pension savings shifting to Defined Contribution plans. This means that individuals are increasingly confronted with more responsibilities to make decisions about their retirement savings. They are however, neither qualified enough, nor always willing to make such difficult decisions. The present paper after reviewing relevant behavioral theories and studies, uses the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) 15th Annual US Retirement Survey to examine the impact of framing effects, financial literacy, self-control and loss aversion on those decisions. It finds strong framing and anchoring effects on the match threshold of a matching contribution feature within 401 (k) or similar plans. Moreover, the findings of this paper suggest that financial literacy cannot significantly mitigate these framing effects. Lastly, this paper shows that commitment devices such as having multiple savings accounts can significantly increase ‘out of work’ savings for retirement.


Global Retirement Expectation Gaps -- TCRS featured in PIMCO’s DC Dialogue

by Various Authors | PIMCO | January 2015

Stacy Schaus, PIMCO’s Defined Contribution Practice Leader, interviews with Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Institute and Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, a nonprofit based in the U.S. and Lex Solleveld, retirement product design leader of Aegon in the Netherlands about similarities and differences between retirement systems in the US and The Netherlands.