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Retirement Plans

Majority of working-age Americans have no retirement savings – NIRS report

The median retirement account balance among working-age Americans is zero, according to a research report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, a non-profit research group based in Washington.

Using U.S. Census Bureau data, the institute also found 57% of working-age Americans — more than 100 million people — don't have retirement assets in an employer-sponsored defined contribution plan, pension plan or individual retirement account.

"Retirement is in peril for most working-class Americans," Diane Oakley, the report's author and NIRS executive director, said in a news release Monday.

The report found about 80% of working Americans have less than one year's income saved in retirement accounts. "Also, 77% of Americans fall short of conservative retirement savings targets for their age based on working until age 67, even after counting an individual's entire net worth — a generous measure of retirement savings," the news release said.

The NIRS report noted that even among retirement account savers, the typical worker had a balance of just $40,000.

"This is far off track from the savings levels Americans need if they hope to sustain their standard of living in retirement," Ms. Oakley said.

The report added 68% of individuals ages 55 to 64 have retirement savings "equal to less than one time their annual income, which is far below what they will need to maintain their standard of living over their expected years in retirement."