Tax Policy Center



Richard W. Johnson

Senior Fellow

I began studying the economics of aging long before my hair turned gray. I’ve learned that the aging of America—and indeed the world—is not the crisis often portrayed in the media and even some scholarly papers. Instead, it represents an enormous opportunity. Seniors are healthier, better educated, and more productive than ever. The challenge we face is how to reform our employment, retirement income, and health care policies to harness the talents of our increasingly capable older citizens.

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Research report

Recent budget pressures have led many states to cut future pension benefits for state workers. Using New Jersey as a case study, this report describes how these reforms ignore larger employee recruitment and retention issues for today's more mobile workforce. State retirement plans generally do...

July 16, 2012
Richard W. JohnsonC. Eugene SteuerleCaleb Quakenbush
Research report

This paper proposes to expand Medicare to cover comprehensive long-term care services, including home care and custodial nursing home care. These services would be financed by a surcharge on federal income taxes. Unlike the regressive payroll tax that finances Medicares hospitalization coverage...

June 22, 2007
Richard W. JohnsonLeonard E. Burman

In 2004, workers ages 51 to 56 reported a 33 percent chance of working past age 65--up from 27 percent for workers that age in 1992. Expected full-time work after age 62 increased as well. Lower rates of retiree health insurance offers from employers, higher levels of educational attainment,...

December 5, 2006
Gordon B. MerminRichard W. Johnson

In 2001, Congress significantly expanded the scope of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA). This paper uses variation in IRA eligibility rules in the 1980s and 1990s to determine whether more widespread access to IRAs undermines traditional employer-sponsored pensions, especially 401(k)-type...

December 1, 2003
Leonard E. BurmanRichard W. JohnsonDeborah Kobes