New Report Examines Retirement Security Challenges Facing Americans

Washington, D.C.—A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) today calls for a broad examination of our nation’s retirement system as the retiree population grows. “The Nation’s Retirement System: A Comprehensive Re-evaluation Is Needed to Better Promote Future Retirement Security” details the issues facing the nation’s retirement system and outlines ways to better promote retirement security. Improving Americans’ retirement security is one of the top priorities of U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Bob Casey (D-PA), the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Aging Committee.

“Nearly half of working Americans believe that they will not have enough money to live comfortably in retirement,” said Senators Collins and Casey in a joint statement. “With an estimated $7.7 trillion gap between what Americans need to maintain their standard of living in retirement and what they have been able to save, improving retirement security is one of the top priorities of our Committee. We are committed to creating more opportunities for hard-working Americans to put money aside and not outlive their savings.”

GAO’s report focuses on four areas:

  • Changes in the traditional pillars of the U.S. retirement system—Social Security, employer-sponsored pensions or retirement savings plans, and individual savings—along with economic and societal trends, such as rising debt and health care costs, that have made it difficult for Americans to plan for and manage retirement;
  • Key challenges individuals face in achieving a financially secure retirement, such as accessing retirement plans through employers, accumulating adequate retirement savings, and ensuring that savings and benefits last through retirement;
  • Fiscal risks and benefit adequacy concerns that threaten the central elements of the U.S. retirement system; and
  • The need for a comprehensive reevaluation of the nation’s approach to financing retirement, one that will address the impact of recent economic trends and the introduction of new financial products.