September 8, 2015

NOW UNIVERSALIZE THEM AND FUND THEM FROM BIRTH TO AGE 18:

States to Help Workers Save for Retirement (DAVID HARRISON, Sept. 7, 2015, WSJ)

In July, Oregon became the third state to enact legislation creating automatic individual retirement accounts for workers who don't have retirement plans at work. The plans are an attempt to cushion the blow for millions of workers who could someday find themselves too old to work but short of savings, state officials said. They are also an attempt to protect taxpayers in the future, said Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

"If people have not saved, they're completely dependent upon government safety-net programs," Mr. Wheeler said.

The gradual but broad shift away from old-fashioned pensions--which provided lifetime retirement payments to retirees--has left millions of Americans unprepared for retirement, experts say.

In the private sector, nearly 44% of prime-age workers don't have access to a retirement plan at work, according to Labor Department figures analyzed by Nari Rhee, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. About 46% of private-sector workers now take part in a workplace retirement plan, meaning almost 10% of workers have access to a plan but don't participate.

"It's shocking...that less than half of employed adults are covered by any kind of employer plan," said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which is working with Connecticut to set up a program. "There's just a huge coverage gap out there."

Posted by at September 8, 2015 5:31 PM
  

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