Research Associate I
Income and Benefits Policy Center
Karamcheva's doctoral dissertation focused on private pensions and workers' savings behavior. She worked as a graduate research assistant at the Center for Retirement Research where she co-authored a series of research papers and briefs focused on Social Security claiming strategies, private pension participation and poverty among the elderly. Karamcheva also holds an M.A. in Economics from Boston College and a B.A. degree from the American University in Bulgaria, with a double major in Economics and Business Administration, and a minor in Mathematics.
Her research interests cover a broad range of topics in labor economics and applied econometrics, with emphasis on retirement and how government policies influence individual behavior.
The Changing Causes and Consequences of Not Working before Age 62 (Series/The Retirement Project Discussion Papers)
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This study considers nonworking older adults and their channels of support before qualifying for Social Security benefits. Results show that among adults ages 55 to 61, nonearners are more likely than earners to be poor, to be concerned about not having adequate resources for retirement, and to be dissatisfied with their retirement when they do retire. However, nonearners are a heterogeneous group. A large share is poor, with low incomes and limited wealth. But a sizeable share is income-poor and asset-rich. More than for singles, this phenomenon characterizes nonworking married adults, who are generally better off than their unmarried counterparts.
Is Household Debt Growing for Older Americans? (Series/Older Americans' Economic Security)
|Posted to Web: April 05, 2013||Publication Date: December 31, 2012|
An increasing number of Americans are entering old age with outstanding debt, forcing many retirees to devote some income to servicing their debt and leaving them with less to cover daily living expenses. Using Health and Retirement Study (HRS) data, this brief reports that the share of adults ages 65 and older with outstanding debt increased from 30 to 46 percent between 1998 and 2010. The inflation-adjusted median value of debt grew 56 percent over the period and the average ratio of total household debt over total household assets more than doubled.
Automatic Enrollment, Employee Compensation, and Retirement Security (Discussion Papers)
|Posted to Web: January 31, 2013||Publication Date: January 31, 2013|
This study uses restricted microdata from the National Compensation Survey to examine the impact of autoenrollment on employee compensation. By boosting plan participation, automatic enrollment likely increases employer costs as previously unenrolled workers receive matching retirement plan contributions. Our data shows a significant negative correlation between employer match rates and autoenrollment. We find no evidence that total costs differ between firms with and without autoenrollment or that DC costs crowd out other forms of compensation-suggesting that firms might be lowering their match rates enough to completely offset the higher costs of autoenrollment without needing to reduce other compensation costs.
How Would the President's Fiscal Commission's Social Security Proposals Affect Future Beneficiaries? (Research Report)
|Posted to Web: December 19, 2012||Publication Date: December 10, 2012|
Using the Dynamic Simulation of Income Model, we project how Social Security benefits and payroll taxes would change were Congress to enact the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform’s proposal. We show benefits at several points in time and relative to pre-retirement income, a low-income standard, and lifetime payroll tax contributions. The proposal’s projected effects are particularly deep relative to current law scheduled for those reaching retirement in several decades. Projected benefit reductions relate closely to lifetime earnings: Lower earners are largely shielded, higher earners face significant reductions. Projections are sensitive to workers’ assumed responses to certain proposal provisions.
|Posted to Web: November 29, 2011||Publication Date: November 21, 2011|
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