U.S. households are about $6.6 trillion short of having enough savings today to maintain their living standards in retirement, and pension freezes and 401(k) plan investment losses could make that deficit far worse, according to a news release by Retirement USA, a coalition of more than 20 national organizations that is promoting the need for an improved retirement system.
“While policymakers talk about budget deficits, there is a massive and growing retirement income deficit that has largely been ignored by Washington,” said Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director of the Pension Rights Center, in a news release announcing what the group is calling the “retirement income deficit.”
The retirement income deficit figure was based on projections of retirement income and wealth for U.S. workers age 32 to 64, the news release said.
“It is important to remember that $6.6 trillion is a conservative figure,” Maria Freese, director of government relations and policy for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said in the release. “It is a measure of how far behind Americans are in their retirement savings today. Cuts to Social Security, pension freezes, and 401(k) losses on the stock market could easily make the retirement income deficit much, much worse in the future.”
The retirement deficit estimate was generated for Retirement USA by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, said Nancy Hwa, a PRC spokeswoman. PRC and the NCPSSM are sponsors of Retirement USA.