America has a retirement security crisis—not a Social Security crisis, the AFL-CIO Executive Council said today in its annual winter meeting in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. And the answer is an across-the-board increase in Social Security benefits.
Half of working Americans have no retirement plan at all at work. Most of those who have a retirement plan are in 401(k) savings accounts where the median balances are less than $30,000. Taking into account all sources of income, it is estimated that the gap between what working Americans need to maintain their standard of living in retirement and what they actually have is $6.6 trillion….Fewer and fewer workers are now covered by defined-benefit pension plans. Retirement savings have been decimated by losses in the stock market. Working families have lost trillions of dollars of home equity with the collapse of the real estate bubble. The stagnation of wages has made it harder for workers to save for retirement. And the inexorable rise of health care costs is taking a bigger and bigger bite out of retirement income.