Early in this decade, studies by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) warned
us that America could see retirees’ essential incomes fall short by hundreds of billions of
dollars over the decade of the 2020s. This risk has grown more acute with the multi-trillion
dollar losses in real estate and securities markets in 2008. EBRI’s 2009 Retirement Survey
registered the lowest confidence level yet recorded, with just 13% of respondents saying
they are highly confident they have enough to retire comfortably.
If action is not taken to boost retirement savings — and substantially, a generation from
now, millions of people could be short on funds to pay for food, medicine, and housing.
We could see the unwinding of many of our gains in reducing elderly poverty in America.