WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, today released a JEC report entitled “Retirement Security After the Great Recession: Middle-Income and Middle-Aged Americans Feeling the Squeeze.” The report analyzes the recession’s impact on retirement security and examines several policies to help working Americans adequately save for retirement.
“Even as the economy recovers, the Great Recession’s hit to retirement accounts and home equity will have a lasting impact on the ability of many Americans to retire with financial security,” said Chairman Casey. “We need to enhance retirement security, and this report lays out several strategies for policymakers to consider.”
The Great Recession affected retirement security particularly among middle- and lower-income families. Middle-income earners saw the values of their retirement accounts plummet while account values for families in the top ten percent of income earners grew by 30 percent from 2007 to 2010.
Middle- and lower-income families are also much less likely to have retirement accounts, the report found. Over ninety percent of households in the top tenth percentile of income have retirement account holdings compared to only 11.2 percent of households in the bottom 20th percentile.
The report discusses several policy solutions to ensure retirement security for working families, including:
- Preserving Social Security and ensure the trust fund remains solvent;
- Protecting the existing favorable tax treatment afforded to employer and employee contributions to retirement plans; and
- Increasing savings rates for employees of companies not currently offering employer-based pensions.
The full report is available here.