Research & Analysis by Richard E. Chard

Differences in Use and Perceptions of Retirement Planning Information Sources by Race and Ethnicity: Findings From the Understanding America Study
Research and Statistics Note No. 2023-01 (released September 2023)
by Richard E. Chard, Matt Messel, and David Rogofsky

The authors use survey data for 2014–2021 from the Understanding America Study to explore use of and attitudes toward different retirement planning information sources by respondent race and ethnicity. They report on respondents' perceptions of the accessibility, understandability, accuracy, and usefulness of retirement planning information available from social networks, employers, financial planners, the Social Security Administration, and other sources. This research may help in guiding effective targeted outreach to racial and ethnic groups, and in identifying potential barriers to access to underused sources.

Public Knowledge About the Social Security Retirement Program: Differences by Race and Ethnicity
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 83, No. 3 (released August 2023)
by Richard E. Chard, Matt Messel, and David Rogofsky

Using data from the first three waves of the Understanding America Study, the authors examine how public knowledge of the Social Security retirement program helps individuals make optimal decisions about saving and the timing of benefit claiming. They use descriptive statistics to highlight differences in program knowledge by respondents' race and ethnicity as well as by age, education level, and sex. They also discuss the implications of their findings and suggest directions for future research.

Insight into the Earned Income Tax Credit and Tax-Advantaged Retirement Savings
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 2 (released May 2018)
by David Rogofsky, Richard E. Chard, and Joanne Yoong

Saving for retirement has traditionally been compared to a three-legged stool supported by Social Security benefits, workplace pensions, and household savings. As the prevalence of defined benefit pensions has diminished in recent decades, the importance of household savings has grown. To enable and encourage saving among lower-income Americans, policymakers have established several types of tax incentives. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides an immediate reduction in income tax liability (or a larger refund) for eligible households. Additionally, certain types of retirement saving accounts and defined contribution saving plans lower current tax liability by deferring taxation of the amounts contributed until the funds are withdrawn in retirement. Using data from the Understanding America Study, this article compares the retirement-related financial behavior and preparedness of EITC-eligible and ineligible households and examines whether EITC eligibility affects the use of tax-advantaged retirement saving plans.