EBRI Research Highlights: Retirement and Health Data

January 2001
EBRI Issue Brief #229 | Special Report SR-37
Paperback, 28 pp.
PDF, 329 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2001

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Executive Summary

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research organization based in Washington, DC, that has been researching economic security issues for almost 25 years. Founded in 1978, its mission is to contribute to, to encourage, and to enhance the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education. EBRI does not lobby and does not take positions on legislative proposals. EBRI receives funding from individuals, employers of all types, unions, foundations, and government.

EBRI's research work has focused on retirement- and health-related issues, particularly involving pension/retirement plan coverage and health insurance coverage in the employment-based benefits system. EBRI is a major source of unbiased data on the uninsured and current trends involving 401(k), IRA, and traditional pension-type retirement plans. EBRI research programs also include economic modeling of Social Security reform proposals and development of the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database, the largest and most detailed of its kind.

This document synthesizes highlights of recent EBRI research on retirement and health issues. It also provides general background information on the finances of the U.S. employment-based retirement system; lists public opinion surveys conducted by EBRI; and cites numerous other benefit-related organizations that are potential sources of additional research and information. It should be stressed that this document contains only highlights of EBRI's vast collection of research and analysis; for greater detail and information, visit EBRI's Web site (www.ebri.org) or contact EBRI directly.

Retirement data in this document include:

  • U.S. pension system overview, including aggregate financial assets and holdings.
  • General 401(k) trends.
  • 401(k) account balance and asset allocation information from the EBRI/ICI 401(k) database.
  • IRA assets and market share.
  • Retirement asset rollover rates.
  • Pension plan history.
  • Basics of Social Security.

Health data in this document include:

  • National health expenditures.
  • The uninsured.
  • Employment-based health insurance.
  • Managed care.
  • Basics of Medicare.

Other benefits data in this document include:

  • Finances of employee benefits.
  • Public opinion.