Barbara Butrica is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, with more than two decades’ experience researching the economics of aging, including older workers, pensions and retirement plans, Social Security, and retirement security. Her recent studies have examined the role of debt on labor force participation and Social Security benefit claiming; the retirement prospects of workers in alternative work arrangements; how caregiving affects work and retirement savings; the impact of the Social Security, pension, and tax systems on work incentives at older ages; the effect of the Great Recession on 401(k) participation and contributions; and strategies for improving the employment prospects of low-income incumbent older workers.
Butrica’s research has been published in reports, books, and peer-reviewed journals, including American Economic Association Papers and Proceedings; the Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences; the Gerontologist; and Research on Aging.
Butrica testified before the US Department of Labor’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act Advisory Council about ethnic and gender differences in employer-sponsored pensions. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and was an appointed member of the advisory board serving the Wider Opportunities for Women’s Elder Economic Security Initiative. Her work has been cited in leading media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.
Before joining Urban, Butrica held positions as an analyst at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and an economist at the Social Security Administration. She has a BA from Wellesley College and a PhD from Syracuse University, both in economics.