It is thought that people can save more through their 401(k) during their working years than with traditional pension plans. However, the truth is that they aren’t always saving enough.
A crisis is arising that there isn’t enough saved. Therefore, the Washington Post asked one of the leaders of the movement from pensions to 401(k)s, Ted Benna, and other experts for some thoughts on the problem in "Why it's so hard for Americans to save for retirement."
Their observations include:
- 401(k) plans have become too complicated for people to understand. They used to be explainable in a few minutes. There are now so many options and fees that people get confused.
- People procrastinate thinking that they will always have time to save later.
- People who do not get a 401(k) through an employer, often do not take advantage of their option to get individual retirement accounts.
- The people who most need to save early, who are those with the least amount of income, are not the ones who are most incentivized by tax policy to use retirement accounts.
Reference: Washington Post (Sep. 15, 2017) "Why it's so hard for Americans to save for retirement."