Retirement insights from a Colorado PERA perspective

Issues & Perspectives

America’s Retirement Crisis: Public Opinion Poll Confirms Anxiety

Average working households in the US have virtually no retirement savings, according to a new report and accompanying public opinion poll released by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). The report, The Continuing Retirement Savings Crisis, underscores America’s retirement crisis, finding that even near-retirement households have a median retirement account balance of only $14,500.

Public policy, however, “can play a critical role in putting all Americans on a path toward a secure retirement” by “improving low- and middle-income workers’ access to low-cost, high quality retirement plans,” according to the report.

The trend of private sector employers shifting away from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans may contribute to Americans’ anxiety about our country’s retirement savings as well as concern for their own financial security. From Americans’ Views of the Retirement Crisis:

  • An overwhelming majority (86%) of Americans believe there is a retirement crisis.
  • Three in four Americans remain highly anxious about their retirement outlook.
  • Americans express strong support for pensions for public employees.

The vast majority of Colorado PERA members participate in the hybrid defined benefit plan, which will most likely be their primary source of retirement income. But PERA also encourages members to participate in voluntary retirement savings plans. PERA offers a 401(k) Plan and a 457 Plan (together called the PERAPlus Plan) with an array of high-quality and low-cost investment options, including a Roth option, that can be used to supplement the PERA defined benefit plan for income in retirement.

Defined benefitA mandatory retirement savings plan in which a participant’s future benefits are known or can be calculated, but contributions are subject to adjustments. Defined contributionA voluntary plan in which participants can save pre-tax income for retirement. Contributions are “defined” by the employee, but the future benefit is not guaranteed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Stay Up To Date

  • Share

  • Print