Like a number of enormous long-term problems in the U.S., the retirement savings crisis isn’t getting much constructive political attention. There’s a national shortfall in retirement savings, estimated at $4.13 trillion for heads-of-households aged 25-to-64, by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and at $6.8 trillion or more by the National Institute on Retirement Security; 29% of those aged 55-to-64 have no retirement savings and no pension, according to the General Accountability Office; 401(k) participation rates hover around 50% and, even among those using the plans, 39% have account balances of less than $10,000, EBRI says. The maximum monthly Social Security benefit for those retiring at full retirement age is a mere $2,687; the average payment is about $1,360 for all retirees, or less than $16,000 a year.
The good news is the situation is far from hopeless. But we need to stop rejecting each potential solution merely because it’s not a complete fix, and start embracing a combination of solutions to form an overall fix. Business leaders can lead the way on this.