Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Recent economic conditions have vastly changed the retirement landscape. Declines in assets as well as high unemployment changed the retirement plans of many Americans. Shocks to employment and wealth have likely influenced retirement behavior. This chapter provides a survey of the current literature on the influence of employment and wealth shocks on retirement and then makes use of administrative records on benefit applications to provide a preliminary analysis of changes in early retirement (age 62) claiming resulting from the recent economic downturn and implications. Since early claiming can have long lasting implications for retirement well being, we address how Americans learn about their retirement options.


The published version of this Working Paper may be found in the 2012 publication: Reshaping Retirement Security: Lessons from the Global Financial Crisis.


Retirement, wealth, shocks, economic downturn, Social Security, unemployment

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the authors and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. ©2011 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

Included in

Economics Commons



Date Posted: 28 June 2019