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Pension income


For all persons, INCRETIR reports the total income they received from private pensions, military retirement, other Federal government employee pensions, state or local government employee pensions, or annuities during the current calendar year. Using the reported income information, annual income amounts were then edited and imputed for every record on the full-year file. Please refer to the IPUMS user note on Income Data in MEPS for more information on the collection, editing (including top- and bottom-coding), and imputation of income variables in MEPS, as well as changes to the target population for income data collection over time. Users may also be interested in the data quality flag, QINCRETI which reports the editing methods used for INCRETIR.

If respondents needed more information about what types of income to report as retirement, pension, or annuity income, they were provided with the additional guidance: "Payments from pensions and annuities, including payments (distributions) from retirement plans, life insurance annuity contracts, profit-sharing plans, employee savings plans, disability pensions received after the tax filer has reached the minimum retirement age set by his/her employer."

Information on the IPUMS defined-universe for this variable 

Users may wish to note that, while IPUMS defines the universe for this variable as all persons, certain persons were explicitly targeted to answer questions about specific income sources. In addition to the target population of persons who were asked specifically about retirement/pension income, all persons in the household were eligible to list additional income from "other" sources, which includes income from sources previously asked about in the survey (such as retirement/pension income). It is unclear if retirement/pension income reported as an "other" income source is counted in retirement/pension income or "other" income. Because all persons could technically report retirement/pension income via the "other" income questionnaire item, IPUMS staff report the universe for INCRETIR as being "All Persons." Users may also wish to note that in the original public use MEPS data files, no income variables have cases explicitly coded as out of universe; both persons who directly report earning zero dollars of income from a source and persons who are not explicitly asked about that income source have values of zero.


This is a 8-digit numeric variable with 2 implied decimal places.


No information available.


  • 1996-2016: All persons.


  • 1996-2016