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Saving for retirement focus of lecture

Dr. Lester Wills, Instructor of Marketing at Penn State Berks, will present “If saving for retirement is so important, why don’t more people do it?” on Friday, March 25, 2011, from 1:00–2:15 p.m. in room 5 of the Luerssen Building as part of the spring Engineering, Business, and Computing (EBC) Division Research Interest Group speaker series. This event is free and open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

According to Wills, at some point in our lives, we will stop working for a living and have to rely on income from other sources. With this in mind, governments around the world have adopted a range of approaches to encourage people to prepare for retirement. Some use voluntary plans, others use mandatory ones, and some governments employ a mixture of the two. Many have moved away from Defined Benefit approach and have adopted Defined Contribution methods, shifting much of the risk from institutions and onto individuals.

Millions of dollars have been spent by both private companies and governments promoting such strategies. Unfortunately the results have been mixed, at best, and in many countries there is still a retirement savings gap. This situation is made worse by the changing demographics where aging populations have potentially serious economic consequences for society as a whole. However, despite these imperatives, many people do not prepare adequately for their retirement.

Wills has conducted research into retirement savings approaches around the world and investigated the decision-making process of individuals to try to understand why people do not prepare for retirement. His research has led to some interesting discoveries that are significant for the U.S. following the enactment of the 2006 Pension Protection Act (PPA). His presentation will explain his research and concerns that the PPA may not actually be addressing the underlying issues.

The EBC Research Interest Group features Penn State Berks faculty and visiting experts who conduct research on a wide variety of topics. Topics are of broad and general interest and are accessible to the non-expert.

For more information, contact Dr. Jui-Chi Huang, Chair of the EBC Research Interest Group and Assistant Professor of Economics at Penn State Berks, via e-mail at JXH74@psu.edu.
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