Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement to accompany publication of Retirement Insecurity, a report written at her request by the Democratic staff of the committee. The release of the report coincides with the 84th anniversary of the Social Security Act.
“Since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the legislation into law on this day in 1935, Social Security has prevented millions of Americans from falling into poverty and has become a pillar of retirement security in our country.”
“Despite Social Security’s success, the other two major components of our nation’s retirement system – private savings and pensions – are failing hardworking Americans. As a result, roughly half of Americans are at risk of losing their current standard of living in retirement.”
“Americans find it increasingly hard to save for retirement amid stagnant wages and the rising cost of housing, health care and college. Meanwhile the share of workers who receive pensions has almost fallen in half since the late 1980s. And only about half of middle-income workers and less than 10 percent of the poorest Americans have defined-contribution accounts like 401(k)s.”
“These problems are particularly acute for women, minorities and people with low earnings or less education. Women, African Americans and Hispanics on average have less saved for retirement and less retirement income. Women, in particular African American and Hispanic women, are at greater risk of outliving their retirement savings.”
“As a result, it is particularly important to protect and strengthen Social Security, while recognizing that the rest of our retirement system is in crisis.”