Data shows that more than half of workers are not in a pension or 401(k) plan.
Are you saving enough — or are you saving anything at all? For too many people, that answer is “no.”
Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler says the poor level of retirement savings in America is a generational crisis that threatens to plunge seniors into poverty, disrupt entire families and impact the overall economy. Yet many people do not even have access to a retirement savings option through their employer.
To help highlight the need for additional saving options, Wheeler worked with labor and financial industry partners to convene a bipartisan roundtable Wednesday at the National Association of State Treasurers Issues Conference in New York City.
“The quality of life for every family relies on a measure of financial security, and that includes preparing for retirement,” said Treasurer Wheeler. “We should help make it as easy as possible for people to save, yet many Americans don’t even have a retirement savings option at work.”
Attending the session were representatives from investment firms and labor unions; treasurers – both Democrats and Republicans – from the states of California, Washington, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, Wyoming, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Utah, Virginia, North Dakota, New Mexico, Iowa, Colorado and the District of Columbia; and deputy treasurers from Connecticut and Louisiana.
In Oregon, Treasurer Wheeler supported successful legislation in 2013 that directs the state to convene a diverse task force – which will include voices of both consumer advocates and the financial sector – to explore and recommend new ways to help Oregonians save for a more secure future. The task force will meet in 2014 and propose reforms to be considered by the 2015 Legislative assembly.
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says 53 percent of American households are “at risk” of not having saved enough to maintain their living standards. According to a 2013 survey by AARP Oregon, more than half Oregonians between the ages of 45 and 64 do not have retirement savings through an employer, and one in six Oregonians has less than $5,000 in retirement savings.
The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are overseen by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices.