United States

Retirement benefits in the United States are provided through:

  • Government sponsored Social Security benefits
  • Employer sponsored retirement plans
  • Individual savings

Health insurance is provided by:

  • Employer sponsored insurance
  • Private individual plans
  • Government plans for the elderly, disabled and low income

Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans

Employers in the United States increasingly offer defined contribution (DC) plans over defined benefit (DB) plans. Plans are regulated by the Department of Labor under ERISA and tax benefits encouraging retirement plans are part of the Internal Revenue Code.

Employer Sponsored Health Insurance

Most private health insurance in the United States is offered by employers. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) contained financial incentives for employers to offer coverage. Legal challenges to the ACA are ongoing.

Individual Health Plans

Effective in 2014, the ACA increased the accessibility of private health insurance for individuals who were not eligible for an employer sponsored plan.

Government Health Plans: Medicare and Medicaid

The two largest government health care programs in the US are Medicare which mainly covers the elderly and Medicaid for lower-income people and the disabled. Medicaid is structured individually by each state, while Medicare is a federal program.