If You Don't Have a Plan, You Probably Have Only $1,000 for Retirement

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Back in January's State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama called for a major upgrade to the U.S. retirement plan system and pushed a new retirement account called the MyRA.

Similar to retirement plans available to federal employees, the MyRA would use a traditional Roth IRA savings account in which the securities in the account would be backed by the government and never decline in value.

Congress hasn't been receptive to the president's calls for more savings options and a stronger push by government to encourage retirement savings. But the MyRA shouldn't be taken lightly -- especially at a time 73% of Americans who say they don't have a legitimate retirement savings plan have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.

That's the claim from the Employee Benefits Research Institute and its annual Retirement Confidence Survey.

EBRI says the percentage of U.S. workers who are "confident" about a secure retirement is up this year, with 18% of Americans saying so compared with 13% last year. And 37% of survey respondents say they are "somewhat confident" about a achieving a decent retirement.

Those numbers show improvement compared with the lows calculated by EBRI in 2009-13, and on the surface they look like good news for perennially struggling U.S. retirement savers.

But EBRI says the Americans expressing optimism about retirement are in a high-income demographic and may not have been scarred as much as middle-income and lower-income savers during the brutal Great Recession years.

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