Family Finances

Are You Being Served?

December 1, 2017  • Financial Security Program

Forum speakers Lori Lucas, Debra Plousha, and David John

Americans have more than $25 trillion in retirement savings. That impressive figure masks a troubling reality: 27 percent of near-retirement households have no retirement savings at all. In April, the Financial Security Program’s Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings brought together experts to explore bold solutions to this coming crisis. In September, the program released a report that identifies five reasons the US retirement system serves some better than others: (1) a coverage gap that leaves roughly 50 percent of workers without access to workplace plans; (2) the financial instability of those struggling in retirement, who likely struggled during their working life —a growing segment of the population; (3) the longevity of workers who have longer lifespans and thus longer retirements; (4) an evolving social contract that sees the workplace shifting away from steady hours and stable incomes, with individuals shouldering evergreater levels of risk; and (5) a lack of political will. Retirement policy is complex—and complex doesn’t always excite politicians.