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Facing Up to the Retirement Savings Deficit

Five years ago Congress enacted modest improvements for employer-sponsored pension and 401(k) plans. Little progress has been made since in narrowing the nation's projected $6 trillion retirement income deficit. America's real retirement security crisis is not Social Security solvency, but the declining number of Americans that participate in any retirement savings plan. Employer-sponsored plans cover fewer than half of all workers, leaving a projected majority of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers even more dependent on Social Security than their parents' generation is today. President Obama has proposed an "Automatic IRA" that would require employers that don't already offer their employees access to retirement plans to facilitate voluntary contributions through automatic payroll deductions. While "Auto IRA" should greatly increase participation, it still leaves out tens of millions of Americans and may not have strong enough incentives or other features to ensure adequate savings over a lifetime, particularly for lower-income workers. In conjunction with the event, New America's Asset Building Program released and presented a paper suggesting improvements. This October event discussed the proposal and alternative paths for narrowing the retirement savings deficit. Learn more at
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