Study: Productivity can be increased even as baby boomers retire

Professor among 25 speakers at Society of Actuaries' "Retirement 2000" Conference

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Jan. 27, 2000 A study to be released at an upcoming conference says that even as the baby boomers retire, a larger-than-projected labor force can be maintained and productivity can be increased to produce enough goods and services for society. Professor Robert L. Brown, using Canada as an example and noting similarities to U.S. conditions, says this can occur if people do not continue to retire at ever-earlier ages. Also, in a stable economy, this will not require dramatic legislation, he says. However, what is needed is worker education and capital investment.

Dr. Brown, a professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, University of Waterloo, will report on his research at Retirement 2000, a conference sponsored by the Society of Actuaries, Feb. 23-24, Washington, D.C. He is 1999-2000 president-elect of the Society of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Society. Dr. Brown will join other leading researchers in reporting fresh insights into problems many fear will overwhelm national economic resources, individuals' resources or both. The multi-disciplinary conference will feature 20 papers by 25 economists, professors, institute directors, private consultants and academic researchers on a wide range of topics. These include issues related to disability, annuities, elderly women, family support of the aged, defined benefit vs. defined contribution plans, public vs. private plans, and Mexican retirement questions.

Some economic observers predict financial disasters, both national and personal, when the baby boomers retire. They say that as nations of workers and investors become nations of retired consumers, withdrawals will far outweigh deposits in investment and savings vehicles, market values and retirees' assets will drop, and prices will rise as labor becomes scarce and wages soar. However, Dr. Brown's study

Contact: Linda Heacox
Society of Actuaries

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