Planning for Retirement — The Age of Individual Responsibility

Francis P. King, Senior Research Officer, TIAA-CREF

July 1995 | Issue # 44

The growth of defined contribution retirement plans, such as TIAA-CREF and Sec. 401(k) plans for employees in business and industry, under-scores an important point about them. Individual participants are responsible for their own asset allocation decisions as they direct plan contributions to individual annuity and custodial accounts. In addition, individual savings and investments are important supplements to pension and Social Security benefits. However, there are many barriers to implementing individual savings strategies. This issue examines the factors that undermine individual efforts to assure future financial security, based on the research findings of economists and social psychologists.

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