Commentary | Retirement

Toward a universal, secure, and adequate retirement system

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Conference Report | Retirement USA
The American dream of a secure retirement is disappearing for millions of workers and their families. Retirement USA is committed to working toward a new retirement system that, along with Social Security, will provide a universal, secure, and adequate income for future retirees. The organizations participating in Retirement USA share a common set of beliefs:

• America needs a new approach to retirement security. Even before last year’s stock market crash, our existing patchwork system was failing to provide secure and adequate retirement income for all too many workers.

• Retirement security should be a shared responsibility. The current system puts far too much responsibility on workers. Employers and government must also do their part.

• We shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken. While our existing retirement system is failing many workers, millions of other workers are covered by plans that provide secure and adequate retirement income for them and their families. These plans must be preserved and strengthened.

• We cannot wait any longer. While other urgent concerns, particularly health care, presently dominate the national debate, it is not too early to begin working on a new approach to retirement security.

Retirement USA is not advancing a specific proposal at this time. Instead, we are offering a set of 12 principles, which we view as the fundamental building blocks for a new retirement system that, together with Social Security, will ensure a secure and adequate retirement system for all American workers. The 12 principles have already spurred a range of new and creative proposals that we hope will be the beginning of a national discussion about the need for a far-reaching, comprehensive approach to retirement security. We invite everyone concerned about this issue to join this discussion.

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See also Highest earners get biggest tax breaks for saving for retirement, EPI’s Economic Snapshot for October 21.

Retirement USA
Conveners: AFL-CIO, Economic Policy Institute, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Pension Rights Center, Service Employees International Union.

Supporters of the principles: Alliance for Retired Americans, American Association of University Women, Association of BellTel Retirees, Inc., American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Campaign for America’s Future, Dēmos, National Association of Senior Legal Hotlines, National Caucus and Center for the Black Aged, Inc., National Consumers League, National Women’s Law Center, OWL – The Voice of Midlife and Older Women, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Wider Opportunities for Women.

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