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Retirement Crisis: 29 Percent of Older Americans Have No Savings, GAO Says

In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 photo, graphic designer Tom Sadowski, 65, who delayed his retirement, works from home in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 photo, graphic designer Tom Sadowski, 65, who delayed his retirement, works from home in Sterling, Va. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

 

(NBC News) – How bad is America doing when it comes to retirement savings? The Government Accountability Office looked into the question, and its answer is sobering.

A new GAO analysis finds that among households with members aged 55 or older, nearly 29 percent have neither retirement savings nor a traditional pension plan.

“There hasn’t been a significant increase in wages, people have student loans and other debt, and many are continuing to struggle financially,” said Charles Jeszeck, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security, which analyzed the Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances to come up with its estimates. “We aren’t surprised that people have not saved a lot for retirement.”

Even among those who do have retirement savings, their nest eggs are small. The agency found the median amount of those savings is about $104,000 for households with members between 55 and 64 years old and $148,000 for households with members 65 to 74 years old. That’s equivalent to an inflation-protected annuity of $310 and $649 per month, respectively, according to the GAO.

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