3d. Explore whether and for whom personal saving and labor market attachment will increase with longer lifetimes. If people work longer as their lives are extended, society might be able to pay for old-age income and health care programs targeted at those who cannot self-finance. If people also save more privately, this could reduce their need to draw on public safety-net public programs in old age. But the extent to which various subgroups in the population can and will save more and work longer, as the life cycle lengthens, requires additional research.
MODELING AND DATA
4a. Promote modeling efforts to simulate how demographic aging may interact with changing patterns of health status, labor force participation, saving behavior, and capital market movements. New models of the macroeconomic effects of population aging would allow us to better characterize the sensitivities of projections and the interactions between macroeconomic variables. Resulting simulations would help identify the most important policy levers available now and in the future to influence the adequacy of retirement income. Such analyses can also suggest where coordinated policy actions across several domains can be most productive (e.g., improvements in health and functional status can impact labor force participation and productivity) and reduce the costs of adjustment to demographic aging.
4b. Improve existing models of life-cycle saving and decumulation, and test them with data that link individuals with administrative information on saving, investments, and retirement drawdowns. Longitudinal data collection efforts are critically important for tracking and modeling how older households prepare for, and move into, retirement. Better use of the full range of longitudinal data could provide a real-time means to study policies that influence retirement security. Research also is needed on (1) understanding how improving financial literacy can improve retirement security, including how economic and noneconomic (psychological and sociological) factors interact to affect retirement security, and (2) the effectiveness of financial products and related innovations (e.g., longevity risk pooling, inflation and survivor bonds, and long-term care insurance) that have been and might be developed to help people better manage key risks.
4c. Support and broaden ongoing multidisciplinary survey research. The committee strongly endorses the need for continuing longitudinal surveys that include in a single comprehensive instrument questions on health, functional status, retirement behavior, income, pensions, savings, well-being, planning, and related matters. The Health and Retirement Study (HRS)