Caring for retirees who do not have enough saved for their non-working years can fall to taxpayers through healthcare and other costs, so some states have begun implementing their own programs to address the problem.
This year Washington State joined, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Oregon as a state that provides savings plans for workers looking to build a nest egg for retirement. Learn more about retirement planning here.
The National Institute on Retirement Security found that the average working U.S. household has virtually no retirement savings.
The average working household has a median retirement account balance of $2,500. The median savings for near-retirement households stands at $14,500. Nearly 40 million people, or about 45% of working-age households, have no retirement assets, including 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts.
To head off this potential disaster, states like California have a state-run automatic Roth IRA plan for private sector employees who lack access to retirement plans.
Connecticut plans to implement its own retirement security plan this year to cover businesses with five or more employees.
Maryland requires businesses with 10 or more workers that use an automated payroll system to either participate in its state program or pay an annual filing fee.
Oregon has one of the most successful programs, enrolling nearly 25,000 private-sector workers without access to employer-sponsored IRAs. On average, employees contribute about $47 per paycheck. The program topped $1 million in contributions earlier this year.
Washington State's retirement situation is worse than most. More than 60% of the state's private-sector workers don't have access to employer IRAs.
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