Employers and Financial Institutions Get Involved
Progress had been made for older adults who were not disabled or in need. In 1896, New Jersey created the first state-sponsored pension plan for teachers. In 1911, the first pension program for all state government employees was instituted in Massachusetts. In 1920, the Civil Service Retirement Act created a retirement system that covered many governmental employees.
More private companies were providing retirement programs. By 1910, Seager would write:
"Already twenty or more such corporations, including the American Steel and Wire Company, the International Harvester Company, the Standard Oil Company, the Metropolitan Street Railway Company, and the Western Electric Company, have [pension] plans in operation, and many more are contemplating their introduction." (Seager, 1910)
Financial institutions were also developing new products aimed at helping people prepare for retirement:
"The Massachusetts Savings Bank Insurance system was introduced three years ago, for the purpose of bringing cheap life and old-age insurance within the reach of all wage carriers who patronize the savings banks...[and] the Metropolitan Insurance Company has recently offered a combined life and old-age annuity policy at rates that bring it within the reach of all wage earners, except the very poorest, who have the forethought to provide against these contingencies. The Metropolitan Company has also sought to have the insurance laws of the various states amended to enable it to offer group policies." (Seager, 1910)