For an increasing number of Americans, it is getting harder to save enough to live comfortably in retirement. About half of households age 55 and older have no retirement savings—and up to two-thirds of workers may not have saved enough to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
Our 2017 report on the Nation’s Retirement System examines the challenges to saving for a secure retirement.
There are 3 pillars to the current retirement system for most Americans—and they all face challenges.
Social Security’s retirement program (Old-Age and Survivors Insurance) is projected to be unable to pay full benefits beginning in 2035.
Private employer-sponsored pension plans (defined benefit plans) are becoming less common—and the federal agency that insures these plans, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, was almost $76 billion in debt at the end of fiscal year 2017, largely due to the financial difficulties facing many of these plans. Employer-sponsored savings plans (defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s) are on the rise, but place the responsibility to save and invest on the individual.
Individuals’ retirement savings outside of employer-sponsored plans are often low or nonexistent, which may increase reliance on federal and state safety net programs. And as the size of the older population grows.