The most recommended books on pensions

Who picked these books? Meet our 5 experts.

5 authors created a book list connected to pensions, and here are their favorite pension books.
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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 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 People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan

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?

At first, the sheer size of this book—over eight hundred pages—intimidated me. But then as I got into it, I realized that it was well worth the time. This is the definitive account of the political struggle between the defenders and enemies of Social Security since the Reagan years. The defenders want to expand the program. Its enemies ultimately want to privatize it to benefit Wall Street or, at the least, reduce its benefits so that people have no other recourse than saving through 401(k)s. I like it because Laursen both understood what was at stake and was able to insightfully document what happened.

By Eric Laursen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The People's Pension as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Readers mystified by the yawning gulf between public opinion and current political discussion might benefit from the background provided in Eric Laursen’s magisterial history, 'The People's Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan' The book offers more than 800 pages of fascinating if gory details about the lobbying efforts and misinformation campaigns aimed at bringing the program down."—Nancy Folbre, NYTimes Economix Blog

“Laursen has given us a comprehensive account of the three decade long war against Social Security. . . . This is a fascinating history that progressives must learn, not only to protect Social Security but also…


Book cover of The $1000 Project

Justine Crowley Author Of Saving Money Is Awesome

From my list on to save money, no matter what the economy is doing.

Who am I?

Since engaging in my own personal development since 2006, and in buying my first investment property at the time; I have always had an interest in saving money and building wealth. We live in an abundant universe, and it is our birthright to have money to enjoy, and to achieve our goals. In high inflationary times, having ample amounts of cash in the bank is a source of comfort. Writing books also came from my passion for writing, and from also working in therapy, where many patients experienced financial difficulties. Regardless of the current rate of inflation, you can stay on top of it with the right tools and knowledge. 

Justine's book list on to save money, no matter what the economy is doing

Justine Crowley Why did Justine love this book?

This is a unique way of saving money by engaging in some extra creative activities, and thereby earning money from them outside of your normal salary/income.

For instance, this is similar to an employee or business owner having their own side hustle. Extra ways to earn money are also covered, and when you have saved in $1K parcels; then that money goes towards the relevant goal you have set for yourself.

The author uses her $1K parcels to buy shares. 

By Canna Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The $1000 Project as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to mindful saving from the financial guru behind online sensation SugarMamma.TV, The $1000 Project shows how easy it is to set yourself up for financial wellbeing.

Financial planner Canna Campbell saved $32,000 in twelve months by using her unique strategy of bundling—saving and earning extra money in small, achievable parcels of $1000. Now she wants to empower you to get the same results!

Drawing on material from her popular YouTube channel and website, here Canna shares all of her tips and tricks for saving and earning additional money, as well as advice for turning these savings into long-term…


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 Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life

Jonathan Chevreau Author Of Findependence Day

From my list on financial independence and retirement.

Who am I?

I am a veteran semi-retired Canadian financial journalist who has long made a distinction between the terms “Retirement” and “Financial Independence.” I  recently turned 70 and have been financially independent since my early 60s BUT I am not yet retired. I coined the term Findependence in my financial novel Findependence Day, and since 2014 have been running the Financial Independence Hub blog, with new blogs every business day.

Jonathan's book list on financial independence and retirement

Jonathan Chevreau Why did Jonathan love this book?

Pensionize Your Nest Egg, or PYNE as some readers call it, is a classic Canadian financial book by famed finance professor Moshe Milevsky and certified financial planner Alexandra Macqueen.

Its audience is primarily anxious would-be retirees who do not have the luxury of having an inflation-indexed, guaranteed-for-life Defined Benefit pension plan offered by an employer. In fact, the headline when I first reviewed the book, was “A Cure for Pension Envy.” Instead, its core reader may have lots of money in group RRSPs, Defined Contribution plans or 401(k)s that rise and fall with financial markets. Hence the subtitle of the second edition, published in 2015, is How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life.

In practice, this involves using a particular product – the life annuity – to make your nest egg more like a true DB pension. The authors go into some…

By Moshe A. Milevsky, Alexandra C. Macqueen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pensionize Your Nest Egg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pensionize Verb. 1. To convert money into income you can't outlive. 2. To create your own personal pension, a monthly income that lasts for the rest of your natural life. With the subpar performance of the markets, record-high personal debt levels, and shockingly low savings rates, it's clear that many Canadians expecting to retire in the next decade simply don't have a sufficient nest egg to ensure a worry-free retirement. Making matters worse, only about one-third of Canadians currently belong to a formal, or registered, pension plan; and even a large number of that "lucky third" will not retire with…


Book cover of How to Fund the Life You Want: What everyone needs to know about savings, pensions and investments

Paul Lewis Author Of Money Box: Your Toolkit for Balancing Your Budget, Growing Your Bank Balance and Living a Better Financial Life

From my list on money and your life.

Who am I?

I realised in my twenties that there were millions of people who desperately needed advice about their money but could not afford an accountant or an adviser. Since then my passion has been to simplify the deliberately complex financial world, explain the obscure and often unintelligible rules about tax, childcare, benefits, investment, savings, and borrowing. Recently as the tsunami of fraud has swept across the UK I have devoted more time to help people avoid losing money to scammers – both criminal and respectable. Most people can’t afford professional advice, but they can afford me – I’m freely available in print, on air, and online. 

Paul's book list on money and your life

Paul Lewis Why did Paul love this book?

At last a book that tells the truth about investment and how it works. The most important thing is keeping down charges. They eat away at your money every month and only enrich other people. Don’t let them manage your money – trust the markets. There are exercises and worksheets to do. So it is not a casual read. But if you study it and work through it you will end up better off and have enough money for your future. Which is the true meaning of wealth.

By Robin Powell, Jonathan Hollow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Fund the Life You Want as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An accessible and practical guide to personal finance that busts myths, clarifies jargons and clarifies the best options for building your wealth More and more people are reassessing their lives as a result of the pandemic. Many have left their jobs or reduced their hours. Others have resolved to work only as long as they must, retiring early to focus on families and friends, hobbies or travel. Meanwhile, employers all over the world are experimenting with a four-day week. Making the most of these choices requires having and growing enough money to enjoy your future life, without needing to worry…