States Step Up for Retirement Security


Are you saving (enough) for retirement? The numbers paint a worrisome picture - for Americans, our families and the nation.

  • Three-quarters of Americans age 55-64 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts as of 2010.
  • And, more than 70 million American workers do not have any type of employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Clearly, we need some help to get on the road to retirement savings - and more effective ways to save money for our future. This is where the states come in - with some innovative solutions to help their residents start saving, or save more.

Take Oregon. This month, the state legislature voted to set up a task force that is charged with studying ways to help workers save for retirement. Gov. John Kitzhaber has indicated his support of the bill, and once he signs it, the Oregon Retirement Savings Task Force will get working.

Why? Because Oregonians want and need plans that will help them save for retirement. Residents surveyed this year by AARP Oregon found:

  • One in six Oregonians age 45-64 has less than $5,000 in savings.
  •  More than half of Oregonians 45+ do not have retirement savings through a previous employer, and even fewer now work for an employer who currently offers a defined benefits plan, like a pension.
  • More than a third of working Oregonians also aren't offered a defined contributions plan, like a 401(k). Two in three of these workers would join one if it was available.
  • Even more - seven in 10 - say it is important for legislators to study Oregonians' retirement readiness.

Other states are also considering innovations to help their citizens save for retirement.

  • In California, Gov. Jerry Brown last year signed legislation that sets up a study commission to explore the creation of a state-run retirement savings plan. AARP has called the California plan a "win-win" proposition that would help workers save for retirement with little burden on employers and no risk to taxpayers.
  • In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick last year signed an act to provide for a retirement savings program for nonprofit employees.
  • In Washington, where 56% of survey respondents told AARP that they are "very" or "somewhat" anxious about having enough money for retirement, legislators are working to reinstitute a study commission, previously approved.

Still, more needs to be done. AARP will continue to work across the states - and at the national level - to help Americans prepare for their financial future, supporting innovative approaches that help ensure retirement security.

Are you saving (enough) for retirement? Check out AARP's Retirement Calculator to find out!

To stay up-to-date on this and other important issues, sign up for the AARP Advocate newsletter or visit your state web page.


Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.