Welcome to this week’s edition of This Week in Pensions! This is the news you need to know in the fight for a secure retirement. 

Before you dive into our top stories from this week, check out some stories of public employees helping their communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the top stories from this week: 

Amid Deep Political Division, Americans United in Worry About Retirement by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). NIRS released a report yesterday showing Americans of all political stripes care about the retirement security crisis. According to the report, “the vast majority of Democrats (70 percent), Independents (70 percent) and Republicans (62 percent) agree that the nation faces a retirement crisis.” NIRS also found the ongoing pandemic has exacerbated Americans’ concerns about retirement, with 51% of Americans saying they have increased worries about retiring with financial security due to it. Finally, those surveyed expressed broad support for defined-benefit pensions, as 75% agreed that “all workers should have access to a pension plan so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement.” NIRS’s findings illustrate that, despite an era of high polarization, concerns over the ability to retire with security and dignity remain an overwhelmingly bipartisan issue.

More than 75% of Americans haven’t calculated how much they need to retire. Here’s how to find out by Robert Exley Jr. Retirement planning can be more challenging than finding a needle in a haystack. According to a recent survey from the investment company Edward Jones, over 75% of Americans have not determined how much income they need to retire. This is one reason why protecting pensions is so essential. Pensions, unlike 401(k)s, guarantee retirement income for life. With a pension’s security, public employees can retire knowing they will have enough income to meet their basic needs without falling into poverty. 

Jaw-Dropping Stats About the State of Retirement in America by Jordan Rosenfeld. In this recap for Yahoo! Finance, Rosenfeld shares several concerning retirement statistics in the United States. Thirty-three percent of workers, for example, lack access to a retirement plan. And, even for those workers fortunate to have a retirement plan, they are not able to save enough to retire. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the median retirement savings for Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 was roughly $107,000 in 2017. While it may sound like a high number to retire with, Rosenfeld notes that amount “would only translate into a $310 monthly payment,” which would not be enough for a secure retirement. These statistics show the importance of maintaining defined-benefit pensions for public employees who have devoted their careers in service to their communities. 

Be sure to check back next week for the latest news in the fight for a secure retirement!