Skip to main content
Article
An Overview of the U.S. Retirement Income Security System and the Principles and Values It Reflects
Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
  • Kathryn L. Moore, University of Kentucky College of Law
Abstract

This article is designed to provide an overview of the U.S. retirement income security system from a comparative law perspective. Like many countries, the U.S. has a three tier pension or retirement income system, with the three tiers consisting of (1) Social Security, (2) employment-based pensions, and (3) individual savings. Thus, superficially, the U.S. retirement income security system resembles that of many around the world. Yet, in other ways, such as its focus on individual rights and responsibility, the U.S. system is unique.

The article begins by discussing the nine guiding principles of the U.S. Social Security system as identified by the late Robert Ball. It then describes the principal elements of employment-based pension plans in the U.S and provides a brief overview of individual savings. The article then turns to the values reflected in the U.S. retirement income security system. It discusses how the U.S. system does, and does not, reflect the European values of (1) responsibility, (2) protection, (3) solidarity, (4) nondiscrimination, and (5) participation.

Document Type
Article
Publication Date
10-1-2011
Notes/Citation Information

Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 33, No. 1 (Fall 2011), pp. 5-48

Citation Information
Kathryn L. Moore, An Overview of the U.S. Retirement Income Security System and the Principles and Values It Reflects, 33 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol’y J. 5 (2011).