Biggs, Andrew J
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PublicationHow Financial Advisers and Defined Contribution Plan Providers Educate Clients and Participants about Social Security(2012-08-01) Greenwald, Mathew; Biggs, Andrew; Schneider, LisaAmerican workers have demonstrated relatively low levels of knowledge of how Social Security works. Most claim benefits at age 62, far earlier than many experts believe is optimal. Early claiming has a particularly negative impact on women. A significant proportion of workers use professional financial advisors and most workers participate in a defined contribution plan. Through a survey and in-depth interviews information was collected on how advisors and plan providers counsel clients and participants on Social Security. The results indicate steps that could increase the effectiveness of these channels to provide effective education and advice on Social Security and claiming. PublicationHow Have Public Sector Pensions Responded to the Financial Crisis?(2011-09-01) Biggs, Andrew JState and local government pension funds lost nearly $1 trillion in net assets in 2007-08. Average pension funding levels fell from 85 percent in 2007 to 77 percent in 2009. We analyze these patterns by looking at target asset allocations for 29 large public sector plans covering over half of all public pension assets. On average, the standard deviation of target portfolio returns increased slightly and 14 of the 29 plans surveyed increased risk by more than 0.3 percentage points and 8 increased risk by more than one percentage point. Few plans seem to have retreated from risk-taking, while a small number appears to have embraced more risk than before.