Analysis examines retirement instability

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Lawmakers are encouraging Social Security’s protection and strengthening, following the release of a report examining the nation’s retirement instability.

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“Despite Social Security’s success, the other two major components of our nation’s retirement system – private savings and pensions – are failing hard-working Americans,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), vice chair of the Congress Joint Economic Committee said via a statement accompanying recent publication of Retirement Insecurity, a report written by the Democratic committee members.
“As a result, roughly half of Americans are at risk of losing their current standard of living in retirement. Americans find it increasingly hard to save for retirement amid stagnant wages and the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and college.”

Maloney noted the share of workers who receive pensions has almost fallen in half since the late 1980s, adding only about half of middle-income workers and less than 10 percent of the poorest Americans have defined-contribution accounts like 401(k)s.

“These problems are particularly acute for women, minorities, and people with low earnings or less education,” Maloney concluded. “Women, African Americans, and Hispanics on average have less saved for retirement and less retirement income. Women, in particular African American and Hispanic women, are at greater risk of outliving their retirement savings.”

Maloney emphasized the importance of protecting Social Security while also recognizing that the rest of our retirement system is in crisis.

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