TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Christine C. Marcks, Prudential Retirement

Thank you all for a dynamic conversation over the past three weeks around how we -- as individuals, as financial services providers and as a society -- can help address the challenge of retirement as people live longer. TED Conversations is a new forum for us, and we found your comments and this experience very insightful.

I believe there are concrete steps people can take to better prepare for their retirement. For starters, workers can improve their savings and investing behavior. Secondly, participants in workplace plans such as 401(k)'s should try to include some sort of guaranteed income component in their retirement planning.

We will also continue this conversation in other forums, and will add to the national debate through white papers on our company's Research & Perspectives site, http://research.prudential.com/view/page/rp .


Christine C. Marcks
Prudential Retirement

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  • Apr 18 2012: Why not imagine a new retirement system combining savings over a long period of time (>40 years) with solidarity within a class of age. The saved money being used over the years to finance loans for houses, entrepreneurs (lower risk investments but positive for the daily economy).

    Example : You start working at 23, born in 1990, and with people of the same age (or class of age - 20 to 25 yrs old), you place 5% of your earnings in a national insurance collecting money from people of similar age.
    Year after year, the fund develops (by savings and interests from investments) until you get the age for retirement. If you do not get there, the money you have saved is redistributed to lower income people of similar age (solidarity procedure against job failure, life accidents, deseases...).
    When retired, you get monthly money with amount dependent of overall population in that class of age and of what you have saved during your work life).
    Statistics of death allows optimisation of the amount of money to be redistributed during retirement to allow the olders still get money from the fund until the persons of that class of age are all dead.

    Each class of age has a different fund and is independant of the others. There is no direct financing of the retired persons by the working, younger people.

    Such a system can be started at any time with the younger workers.
    Interests of interests is very valuable above 30 years of savings.
    Good for the economy, good for good level pensions when retired + Solidarity between people of same generation.
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      Apr 20 2012: Guillaume, what you are describing sounds a lot like a modification of the U.S. Social Security system. Interesting premise. Thanks for offering your ideas. Exploring new solutions to place more individuals on a secure path to retirement is the main reason I decided to participate in this discussion.
      • Apr 21 2012: Chrisitine,...
        Not only the U.S Social Security system... The problem is common in most countries in the world.
        Even here in France, which is known for its highly protective security system, classical solutions fail today and are really too expensive.
        We have a system where working people pay for retired people but with 2 working persons for 1 retired one, it gets impossible to maintain good living standards for retired people having no other income.
        The best solution will always be to save money during life and make it work on a global stage...
        Hope this idea will spread around...
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          Apr 21 2012: the problem is even deeper than that. it is visible that there is not enough money for the retired, and the working is already taxed too heavily. what is not visible is the amount of wealth and development it already destroyed in the lack of progress and lack of capital accumulation. in fact, i firmly believe that europe actually consumes capital. i can't prove that, but that's my guess. we pay for social "security" with stalled progress, crippled, depressed lives, lack of vision and future. the mindset slowly turns from production to predation. if this trend continues, that will end the european culture as we know it.

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