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Improving U.S. Retirement Security Requires Addressing Demographic Disparities

December 19, 2019 GMT
Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies logo. (PRNewsFoto/Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)
Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies logo. (PRNewsFoto/Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today’s workers have saved $50,000 (estimated median) in all household retirement accounts, but savings vary dramatically across demographic segments, according to A Compendium of Findings About U.S. Workers, a new report released today by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS).

Workers with an annual household income (HHI) of $100,000 or more have saved $222,000 (estimated median) in all household retirement accounts, compared with $47,000 among those earning $50,000 to $99,999. Among those earning less than $50,000, total retirement savings is significantly less— just $3,000. College graduates have saved $160,000, compared with $23,000 among non-graduates. Men have saved $76,000, compared with $23,000 among women.

As part of its 19th Annual Retirement Survey of Workers, one of the largest and longest-running surveys of its kind, TCRS surveyed more than 5,100 workers of for-profit companies. The Compendium offers more than 30 key indicators of retirement readiness among workers by employment status (full-time, part-time), generation, gender, household income, level of education, and ethnicity.

Five Ways to Improve Retirement Security

“Many U.S. workers are continually at risk for not achieving a financially secure retirement. Policymakers are taking action to strengthen our retirement system, by expanding access to employer-sponsored workplace savings plans and making it easier for workers to plan and save,” said Catherine Collinson, CEO and president of Transamerica Institute and TCRS. “It is also imperative that policymakers begin devoting attention to addressing Social Security’s projected funding shortfall.”

The survey findings yield opportunities for improving retirement security, many of which are further supported by TCRS’ most recent survey of employers. Five specific opportunities include:

“By addressing demographic disparities, policymakers in collaboration with employers, industry, nonprofits, and academics can help bridge inequalities and improve retirement security among all,” said Collinson. “Collective actions taken today can lead to better outcomes tomorrow.”

A Compendium of Findings About U.S. Workers and other retirement research and educational tools can be found at www.transamericacenter.org. Follow TCRS on Twitter @TCRStudies.

About Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies ® (TCRS) is a division of Transamerica Institute ®, a nonprofit, private foundation. Transamerica Institute is funded by contributions from Transamerica Life Insurance Company and its affiliates and may receive funds from unaffiliated third parties. TCRS and its representatives cannot give ERISA, tax, investment, or legal advice. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as ERISA, tax, investment, or legal advice. For more information, visit www.transamericacenter.org and follow TCRS on Twitter at @TCRStudies.

About the 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers

The 25-minute online survey was conducted within the U.S. by The Harris Poll on behalf of TCRS between October 26 and December 11, 2018, among a nationally representative sample of 5,923 full- and part-time workers, including self-employed. This report is based on 5,168 full- and part-time workers who are not self-employed and who work in a for-profit company with one (1) or more employees. Results were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with the population of U.S. residents age 18+, employed full- or part-time in a for-profit company with one (1) or more employees, and to adjust for attitudinal and behavioral differences between those who are online versus those who are not, those who join online panels versus those who do not, and those who respond to surveys versus those who do not. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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Contact: Kristin Elia
KElia@webershandwick.com
206-576-5502

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SOURCE Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies