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NIRS: New Report Finds Disturbing Outlook for Generation X in Retirement

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July 17, 2023

NIRS: New Report Finds Disturbing Outlook for Generation X in Retirement

A new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) finds a dismal retirement outlook for Generation X, the first generation to enter the labor market following the shift from defined benefit pension plans to 401(k)-style defined contribution accounts.

The report examines current rates of retirement plan coverage, coverage by industry, and retirement account balances, with analyses by race, gender, and marital status. The analysis defines Generation X as those born between 1965 and 1980.

When looking at median retirement savings levels for Generation X, the bottom half of earners have only a few thousand dollars saved for retirement, and the typical household has only $40,000 in retirement savings. Retirement savings for Generation X is highly concentrated among the highest earners, while Blacks and Hispanics have substantially lower savings and access to retirement plans compared to whites.

“Only 14% of Generation X is covered by a defined benefit pension plan,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance. “The NIRS report provides further evidence that we need to expand Social Security quickly and increase benefits. This matters for current and future retirees. There is no time to waste.”

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