Can America avoid a retirement crisis? It’s an increasingly urgent question, as aging baby boomers leave the workforce with modest 401(k) balances, Gen Xers shift into pre-retirement mode, and millennials struggle even to start saving. Meanwhile, some half of workers lack access to a 401(k) or another employer-based retirement plan. And EBRI data show that, for the most part, retirement savings happens only through the workplace.
An obvious solution would be to expand the 401(k) savings system to provide access to workers who are currently shut out. That notion has collected prominent supporters, including academics, politicians and current and former Wall Street executives. But reform attempts have generally failed to gain traction—until now.
Two new proposals, in fact, plus a groundswell of support for the idea both on and off Wall Street, suggest that we may see real movement toward expanded or even mandatory workplace retirement plans after this year’s presidential election…
The Bipartisan Policy Center, led by former Democratic and Republican senators, as well as economists and academics, has come up with its own series of retirement recommendations, including one that would encourage (but not mandate) small employers to sign up for a third-party plan provider.