Public Old-Age Pensions

August 23, 1930

Report Outline
Causes of Old-Age Dependency
Causes of Old-Age Dependency
Existing Securities Against Old Age
Foreign Old-Age Pension Systems
Old-Age Pensions in America
Groups Interested in Public Pensions
Special Focus

Causes of Old-Age Dependency

The Lengthening Span of Life

The problem of providing for aged dependents becomes more serious each year because the underlying economic changes causing it accumulate more rapidly than remedies for it are adopted. Among the contributing economic changes are (1) the longer span of life, as a result of which the number of people over 65 years of age within the whole population has relatively increased; (2) the reduced employment age level which shortens the earning period of a man's life; (3) the higher standard of American life meaning an increase in family expenses; (4) the movement of a majority of families from the country to the cities; and (5) the growth of machine industry. These conditions together with waning earning power, sickness, industrial accidents, current unemployment, industrial disputes, and business and banking failures make the problem of security for old age increasingly serious.

Several means exist to meet this problem. These include individual savings, industrial and trade union pensions, public service retirement systems, the old-age benefits of professional and fraternal societies, poorhouses, and private charity. The inadequacy of these existing securities has given rise to the movement, for public old-age pensions which have been widely adopted in foreign countries and in 12 of the United States. New York and Massachusetts adopted old-age pension laws in 1930. In New Jersey and Michigan public commissions are studying the problem of the needy aged. The movement for old-age pensions has, in fact, gained great momentum. The question was discussed at the Conference of Governors in Utah last month and state parties and political nominees, Republican and Democratic, are urging such legislation in many states.

This report will examine the causes, extent, and distribution of aged dependency in the United States; existing securities against old age; pension systems abroad; and the pension movement in the United States.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Social Security
Sep. 10, 2021  Social Security
Jun. 03, 2016  Social Security
Sep. 24, 2004  Social Security Reform
Oct. 02, 1998  Saving Social Security
May 12, 1995  Overhauling Social Security
Apr. 05, 1991  Social Security: The Search for Fairness
Dec. 17, 1982  Social Security Options
Jun. 29, 1979  Social Security Reassessment
Dec. 27, 1974  Retirement Security
Sep. 20, 1972  Social Security Financing
Dec. 14, 1966  Social Security Improvements
Mar. 28, 1956  Social Security for the Disabled
Mar. 26, 1953  Social Security Expansion
Aug. 17, 1951  Relief Rolls in Prosperity
Dec. 24, 1949  Pensions for All
Aug. 12, 1948  Security for the Aged
Apr. 11, 1946  Social Insurance
Mar. 02, 1944  Social Security
Dec. 02, 1939  Liberalization of the Social Security System
Oct. 01, 1938  Agitation for Pension and Scrip Schemes
Jul. 26, 1938  Revision of the Social Security Act
Oct. 02, 1936  The Social Security Controversy
Nov. 12, 1934  Federal Assistance to the Aged
Aug. 23, 1930  Public Old-Age Pensions
Aging Issues
Retirement, Pensions, and Social Security