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Changes in the retirement system—from a later Social Security retirement age to a switch from defined benefit plans to 401(k) plans and IRAs—were expected to result in relatively less wealth from DB plans and Social Security and much more from 401(k)s and IRAs. But according to a brief from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, that has not been the case.

Instead, younger members of the boomer generation (ages 51–56), who might be expected to have accumulated more retirement wealth in 401(k)s/IRAs than older boomers after more of their careers were spent working for employers who offered defined contribution plans instead, are showing a “surprising drop” in IRA assets when compared with earlier groups at the same ages.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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