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GAO Says Many Age 55 or Older Continue to Struggle Financially
Friday, June 5, 2015 6:35 AM

Roughly half of households heading into retirement have no savings in 401(k) or individual retirement accounts, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Also, among households with members age 55 or older, 29 percent have neither retirement savings nor a traditional pension plan.

The GAO’s report analyzed the Federal Reserve’s 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances and incorporated findings from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and other surveys.

Those who do have savings have meager amounts set aside. For households with members age 55-64, the median savings is roughly $104,000, equivalent to an inflation-protected annuity of $310 per month. For households with 65- to 74-year-olds, the median savings amount is $148,000, or $649 per month.

"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, director of education, workforce, and income security for the GAO ( June 3). "We aren't surprised that people have not saved a lot for retirement."

The GAO report noted Social Security provides most of the income for 52 percent of households age 65 and older.