55 books like The People's Pension

By Eric Laursen,

Here are 55 books that The People's Pension fans have personally recommended if you like The People's Pension. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn't Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All

James W. Russell Author Of The Labor Guide to Retirement Plans: For Union Organizers and Employees

From my list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street.

Who am I?

I became fascinated with retirement plans and policy when I realized that my 401(k)-like retirement plan with a high rate of savings and investment returns would still come up way short in terms of the retirement income needed for me and my family. That led me to initiate a winning campaign to allow those of us in that plan to switch to our employer’s pension plan. In leading that struggle, I had to learn everything possible, beyond what I already knew, about retirement plans. I have a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and have studied retirement plans in Latin America and Europe as well as the United States.

James' book list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street

James W. Russell Why did James love this book?

This is the place to start since it treats the base of our national retirement system—our national pension. I don’t think there’s anybody who knows more about Social Security than Altman and Kingson. They are the founders of the advocacy organization by the same name, Social Security Works. It is their job, and they do it well, to explain why Social Security works as well as it does despite the claims of its right-wing enemies and what we have to do to protect it from attempts to privatize it or reduce its benefits. This is not just a manifesto, it contains a ton of clearly-written information about how Social Security as a social insurance system works and what can be done to make it better.

By Nancy Altman, Eric Kingson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Security Works! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A growing chorus of prominent voices in Congress and elsewhere are calling for the expansion of our Social Security system. Social Security Works! amplifies these voices and offers a powerful antidote to the three-decade long, billionaire- funded campaign to make us believe that this vital institution is destined to collapse. It isn't. From the Silent Generation to Baby Boomers, from Generation X to Millennials and Generation Z, everyone now has a stake in understanding the real story about Social Security. Destined to be a game-changer, setting a strategy to benefit all.


Book cover of Retirement Heist: How Companies Plunder and Profit from the Nest Eggs of American Workers

James W. Russell Author Of The Labor Guide to Retirement Plans: For Union Organizers and Employees

From my list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street.

Who am I?

I became fascinated with retirement plans and policy when I realized that my 401(k)-like retirement plan with a high rate of savings and investment returns would still come up way short in terms of the retirement income needed for me and my family. That led me to initiate a winning campaign to allow those of us in that plan to switch to our employer’s pension plan. In leading that struggle, I had to learn everything possible, beyond what I already knew, about retirement plans. I have a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and have studied retirement plans in Latin America and Europe as well as the United States.

James' book list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street

James W. Russell Why did James love this book?

Retirement Heist is a tour de force. It is a book to make you informed and angry about why pension plans are disappearing in the private sector. In a few words, according to former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Schultz, it was because corporations took financially healthy pension plans and diverted their surpluses to other uses to inflate their bottom lines. They then ended the plans when they inevitably became financially weaker, substituting them for 401(k)s that do not produce near as much retirement security. 

By Ellen E. Schultz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Retirement Heist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the 2012 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

Hundreds of companies have slashed pensions and health coverage for millions of retirees, claiming that a “perfect storm” of stock market losses, aging workers, and spiraling costs have forced them to take drastic measures.

But this so-called retirement crisis is no accident. Ellen E. Schultz, an award-winning investigative reporter formerly of The Wall Street Journal, reveals how large employers and the retirement industry have all played a huge and hidden role in the death spiral of American pensions and benefits.

A little over a decade ago, pension plans…


Book cover of The Great 401(k) Hoax: Why Your Family's Financial Security Is at Risk, and What You Can Do about It

James W. Russell Author Of The Labor Guide to Retirement Plans: For Union Organizers and Employees

From my list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street.

Who am I?

I became fascinated with retirement plans and policy when I realized that my 401(k)-like retirement plan with a high rate of savings and investment returns would still come up way short in terms of the retirement income needed for me and my family. That led me to initiate a winning campaign to allow those of us in that plan to switch to our employer’s pension plan. In leading that struggle, I had to learn everything possible, beyond what I already knew, about retirement plans. I have a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and have studied retirement plans in Latin America and Europe as well as the United States.

James' book list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street

James W. Russell Why did James love this book?

Wolman and Colmosca, former BusinessWeek writers, were among the early writers to expose just how bad 401(k)s were for workers. They showed how Wall Street interests profited from the plans at the expense of retirement security. They knew a lot about stock market investing and doubted that, even in the best of situations, the stock market would be able to produce enough value to adequately support retirees. They came to the conclusion that the 401(k) system could not be reformed and should be abolished. I liked the book because it was coming from people within the system (BusinessWeek) who realized that it was not working. 

By William Wolman, Anne Colamosca,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great 401(k) Hoax as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The American public was hoodwinked: 401(k)s were established to satisfy corporations, not the interests of working Americans. Portrayed as a perpetual wealth machine, the 401(k) was meant to satisfy the needs of every employee. Yet, it was an impossible promise to fulfill: It was the great 401(k) hoax. According to William Wolman and Anne Colamosca, this was the latest act in the gradual erosion of the nation's retirement system. Drawing from reams of historical and contemporary data as well as economic, social, and political trends, they reveal the system's troubled 100year history. Beyond exposing the hoax, the authors urge everyone…


Book cover of Downhill from Here: Retirement Insecurity in the Age of Inequality

James W. Russell Author Of The Labor Guide to Retirement Plans: For Union Organizers and Employees

From my list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street.

Who am I?

I became fascinated with retirement plans and policy when I realized that my 401(k)-like retirement plan with a high rate of savings and investment returns would still come up way short in terms of the retirement income needed for me and my family. That led me to initiate a winning campaign to allow those of us in that plan to switch to our employer’s pension plan. In leading that struggle, I had to learn everything possible, beyond what I already knew, about retirement plans. I have a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin and have studied retirement plans in Latin America and Europe as well as the United States.

James' book list on retirement plans if you don’t trust Wall Street

James W. Russell Why did James love this book?

I like this book because it provides a sociological portrait of the retirement crisis. Newman digs deep into the impact on people of losing pensions because of corporate shenanigans. She digs into the threatened cutting of Teamster pension benefits and what happened to municipal employee retirees and near-retirees when Detroit declared bankruptcy. She marshaled her considerable sociological research skills to lay bare the human face of the retirement crisis.

By Katherine S. Newman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Downhill from Here as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A sharp examination of the looming financial catastrophe of retirement in America.

As millions of Baby Boomers reach their golden years, the state of retirement in America is little short of a disaster. Nearly half the households with people aged 55 and older have no retirement savings at all. The real estate crash wiped out much of the home equity that millions were counting on to support their retirement. And the typical Social Security check covers less than 40% of pre-retirement wages―a number projected to drop to under 28% within two decades. Old-age poverty, a problem we thought was solved…


Book cover of Control Your Retirement Destiny: Achieving Financial Security Before The Big Transition

Wade Pfau Author Of Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success

From my list on preparing you for retirement.

Who am I?

I am economist who first started exploring retirement planning for my own personal situation. I became so captivated by the topic that I changed fields and was selected as the Professor of Retirement Income at the American College of Financial Services. I am a past curriculum director for the Retirement Management Analyst designation and past program director for the Retirement Income Certified Professional designation. More recently, I am the co-creator of the Retirement Income Style Awareness and co-host of the Retire with Style podcast. I enjoy learning and teaching about all topics related to retirement.

Wade's book list on preparing you for retirement

Wade Pfau Why did Wade love this book?

Dana Anspach’s book on retirement planning is an accessible exploration of how to put together a retirement income plan.

She is a financial planner and well-respected retirement planning expert who was picked to create the retirement planning course for the Great Courses series. This book will help readers prepare their own retirement plans with confidence.

By Dana Anspach,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Control Your Retirement Destiny as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People in their fifties start to wonder: When should I retire? Once I do, when should I take Social Security? Do I need to buy an annuity to make sure I have enough money to last my whole life? Should I move everything into “safe” investments? In short, what do I need to do now to ensure a comfortable retirement? Control Your Retirement Destiny: Achieving Financial Security Before the Big Transition provides practical how-to knowledge on what you need to do to get your finances in order to prepare for a transition out of the workforce. While never easy, retirement…


Book cover of Policymaking for Social Security

Aubrey Fox Author Of Gradual: The Case for Incremental Change in a Radical Age

From my list on how government works in practice – and when it doesn’t.

Who am I?

My father advised me that to be a good writer, I should first learn a trade and particular subject matter from the inside out. As a working criminal justice practitioner for the last two decades, I’ve been lucky to work with some of the smartest people and best run organizations in the country. I’ve always been a big reader and someone who likes to link the sometimes brutally practical, day-to-day work of running an organization (I lead New York City’s main pretrial services agency) to larger philosophical issues. My life’s goal is to show how big ideas play themselves out in the day-to-day practice of public policy. 

Aubrey's book list on how government works in practice – and when it doesn’t

Aubrey Fox Why did Aubrey love this book?

In writing our book, my co-author Greg Berman and I relied heavily on Derthick’s classic 1979 account of the development of Social Security in its first 15 years.

Derthick shows that its intentionally incremental development became the key to its later success as the largest and most successful anti-poverty program ever developed.

Derthick shows how two unheralded government bureaucrats nurtured and protected the program in its early years, including against a very popular and more immediately radical alternative.

The book does a good job of showing that choices made by the architects of government programs in their early days help set their long-term trajectories – an understudied topic.

By Martha A. Derthick,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Policymaking for Social Security as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Comprehensively analyzes the American social security program, considering its history, politics, policies, and troubled future and advocating a realistic and less reverent approach to its modification.


Book cover of Saving Social Security: a Balanced Approach

John A. Turner Author Of Sustaining Social Security in an Era of Population Aging

From my list on fixing social security.

Who am I?

As an economist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, I have focused my research on fixing Social Security and pension policy. I have researched and written about these issues for the U.S. and other countries around the world, as well as consulting on these issues in a number of countries. My career has included working at policy research offices in the Social Security Administration the Department of Labor (pensions), the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, AARP, and heading the Pension Policy Center. 

John's book list on fixing social security

John A. Turner Why did John love this book?

This book analyzes the financial position of Social Security, presents a plan for fixing it, and argues against diverting Social Security revenue into individual accounts.

Its proposal preserves the value of Social Security in providing a basic level of benefits; it increases the value of benefits for particular low-income groups such as workers who have long careers at low pay, and widows and widowers with low benefits; and it eliminates Social Security’s long-term deficit. 

By Peter A Diamond, Peter Orszag,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Saving Social Security as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"

While everyone agrees that Social Security is a vital and necessary government program, there have been widely divergent plans for reforming it. Peter A. Diamond and Peter R. Orszag, two of the nation's foremost economists, propose a reform plan that would rescue the program both from its projected financial problems and from those who would destroy the program in order to save it. vi ng Social Security's's strategy balances benefit and revenue adjustments, following the precedent set by the last major Social Security reform in the early 1980s. The authors' proposal restores long-term balance and sustainable solvency to the…


Book cover of Retooling Social Security for the 21st Century: Right and Wrong Approaches to Reform

John A. Turner Author Of Sustaining Social Security in an Era of Population Aging

From my list on fixing social security.

Who am I?

As an economist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, I have focused my research on fixing Social Security and pension policy. I have researched and written about these issues for the U.S. and other countries around the world, as well as consulting on these issues in a number of countries. My career has included working at policy research offices in the Social Security Administration the Department of Labor (pensions), the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, AARP, and heading the Pension Policy Center. 

John's book list on fixing social security

John A. Turner Why did John love this book?

Even if Social Security were solvent, argue the authors, Social Security needs reform because health, life spans, work, and migration patterns are changing. 

It lays out principles on which to base reform. For instance, concerning horizontal equity for people at a point in time at the same income level, the lifetime earnings formula tries to provide equal net benefits relative to taxes, for those with equal lifetime earnings. The spousal and survivor benefit, on the other hand, violates horizontal equity on a wide range of fronts.  

By C. Eugene Steuerle, Jon M. Bakija,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Retooling Social Security for the 21st Century as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Even if solvent, Social Security needs reform because health, life spans, work, and migration patterns are changing, the authors argue. They develop a blueprint that identifies "right" reforms--those that achieve fiscal balance and increase Social Security's responsiveness to today's and tomorrow's needs.


Book cover of The Real Deal: The History and Future of Social Security

John A. Turner Author Of Sustaining Social Security in an Era of Population Aging

From my list on fixing social security.

Who am I?

As an economist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, I have focused my research on fixing Social Security and pension policy. I have researched and written about these issues for the U.S. and other countries around the world, as well as consulting on these issues in a number of countries. My career has included working at policy research offices in the Social Security Administration the Department of Labor (pensions), the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, AARP, and heading the Pension Policy Center. 

John's book list on fixing social security

John A. Turner Why did John love this book?

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the Social Security system, covering its historical origins, legislative changes, and future prospects.

It describes the history of the development of Social Security from its conceptual origins in the Roosevelt Administration. It explores the economic and demographic factors influencing the program and proposes policy options to ensure its sustainability. It argues in favor of adding funded individual accounts as part of Social Security.

By Sylvester J. Schieber, John B. Shoven,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Real Deal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Will the Social Security system founder as millions of baby boomers enter their retirement years? Is the frightening vision of an impoverished old age a glimpse into the real future for Americans of the next generation? The authors of this book put debates about Social Security reform into historical perspective, consider various reform ideas, and elaborate a proposal to ensure that the system can continue to meet the claims of the retired and the disabled. Sylvester J. Schieber and John B. Shoven, leading experts on retirement issues, set forth a carefully considered plan to change the way we finance Social…


Book cover of Social Security Pensions: Development and Reform

John A. Turner Author Of Sustaining Social Security in an Era of Population Aging

From my list on fixing social security.

Who am I?

As an economist with a PhD from the University of Chicago, I have focused my research on fixing Social Security and pension policy. I have researched and written about these issues for the U.S. and other countries around the world, as well as consulting on these issues in a number of countries. My career has included working at policy research offices in the Social Security Administration the Department of Labor (pensions), the International Labour Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland, AARP, and heading the Pension Policy Center. 

John's book list on fixing social security

John A. Turner Why did John love this book?

This book takes a broader perspective and analyzes social security policy around the world.

It surveys the social security programs in each of the major areas of the world. It argues for social security pensions based on social insurance rather than on funded individual accounts. It also discusses other issues of importance in some countries, such as contribution evasion. It proposes ways of extending Social Security coverage to more workers.

There also are Japanese and Spanish editions of this book. Including the three editions, this book is one of the most widely cited in this field.

By Colin Gillion (editor), John Turner, Clive Bailey , Denis Latulippe

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Social Security Pensions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a valuable reference for anyone concerned with reforming or establishing pension programs and for those looking to understand the practicalities and structure behind various pension schemes. By providing a balanced assessment and factual review of what various countries around the world have done, this book assists decision-makers in forming effective, viable pension policy. Discussing not only the current situation in pension schemes, the book also considers the analytical, social, and economic consequences which arise from different pension structures. In what sometimes is a heated debate, this study avoids taking sides, but instead illustrates what has worked and not…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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