Overstated Retirement Crisis

The Over-Stated Retirement Crisis

Oct 25, 2019
Empower Institute

An ever-improving retirement system is helping Americans be more prepared for retirement.

Many Americans fear their retirement savings won’t be enough to allow them to retire, and media coverage has reinforced this narrative. In reality, however, retirement savers aren’t really facing a crisis. Each generation of retirees has been better off than the previous generation. In fact, in 2017, retirement assets represented 337% of employee wages, according to Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute.1

What’s more, many of the eye-catching statistics cited in stories about the retirement crisis fail to paint a complete picture of the retirement landscape. Current plan account balances may be misleading unless an employee has rolled over all the retirement assets they’ve accumulated over the years. To address the question of whether a retirement savings crisis is actually at hand, it’s critical to consider workplace retirement plans in the context of the greater retirement system.


Key findings

  • More individuals have access to workplace retirement plans now than in the past.
  • Individuals are saving proportionally more money today than they have in the past.
  • Today’s workers will actually get more money in retirement than previous retirees.
Overstated Retirement Crisis white paper

Download the white paper

An ever-improving retirement system is helping Americans be more prepared for retirement.

1 Andrew Biggs, American Enterprise Institute, Statement before House Committee on the Budget on “Keeping Our Promise to America’s Seniors: Retirement Security in the 21st Century,” “13 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Retirement Savings,” May 2019.

Latest Empower Institute Articles

husband and wife sit in front of laptop reviewing finances
Jul 20, 2020
Empower Institute

It’s not about generations

Employers can better understand workers’ needs by studying their past experiences and personal backgrounds.

Carefully consider the investment option’s objectives, risks, fees and expenses. Contact Empower Retirement for a prospectus, summary prospectus for SEC registered products or disclosure document for unregistered products, if available, containing this information. Read each carefully before investing.

Securities offered and/or distributed by GWFS Equities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. GWFS is an affiliate of Empower Retirement, LLC; Great-West Funds, Inc.; and registered investment adviser, Advised Assets Group, LLC. Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax recommendations or advice.

IMPORTANT: The projections, or other information generated on the website by the investment analysis tool regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes, are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. The results may vary with each use and over time.

Insurance products are issued by or offered through Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Corporate Headquarters: Greenwood Village, CO; or in New York, by Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York, Home Office: New York, NY. Guarantees are subject to the terms and conditions of the contract and the claims-paying ability of the insurer.

The Empower Institute is a research group within Empower Retirement, LLC.

All features may not currently be available and are subject to change without notice. ©2020 Empower Retirement, LLC. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise noted: Not a Deposit | Not FDIC Insured | Not Bank Guaranteed | Funds May Lose Value | Not Insured by Any Federal Government Agency.