How 401(k)s have failed most American workers

Today, many Americans rely on savings in 401(k)-type accounts to supplement Social Security in retirement. This is a pronounced shift from a few decades ago, when many retirees could count on predictable, constant streams of income from traditional pensions (see “Types of retirement plans,” below). This chartbook assesses the impact of the shift from pensions […]

401(k) Retirement Plans Amplify Income Inequality and Racial Disparities

It’s bad enough that the move toward individual retirement plans has been a massive failure when it comes to providing average working Americans retirement security. But now there’s research that shows that our dependence on individual retirement plans adds fuel to the fire of racial and class inequities in ways that the pension plans that […]

Nudges Aren’t Enough for Problems Like Retirement Savings

Why don’t Americans save more for old age? Even when their employers promise to match their savings, workers often fail to salt away their earnings for the future, inexplicably leaving money on the table. Psychology has offered an answer: procrastination. And it has suggested a cure: rather than giving workers the choice to sign up […]

A Smarter Plan to Make Retirement Savings Last

LAST month, President Obama inaugurated yet another way to encourage Americans to save for retirement. In the new myRA accounts, workers can save up to $15,000 in a low-fee investment plan that, like a government savings bond, guarantees the principal. The accounts are a small step toward helping households save, but they are not an […]