Retirement crisis: Lawmakers work to find solution before Social Security runs out

National and World

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – Lawmakers held yet another hearing to try to find solutions to an inevitable crisis facing Americans — retirement.

Right now, a third of Americans have less than $1,000 saved for retirement and the majority of employers don’t offer workers a way to save.

At Tuesday’s finance hearing on Capitol Hill, lawmakers pushed plans to intervene before it’s too late.

“There has to be a different sense of urgency here,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D – Michigan).

She says it’s time for Congress to pass a plan to help millions of Americans avoid poverty when they retire.

AARP Board Chair Joan Ruff says half of working Americans do not have access to a retirement saving plan at their jobs and a third of Americans have nearly nothing saved for retirement.

“Leaving them increasingly dependent on Social Security,” Ruff said.

But Social Security benefits may not provide enough income for many retired Americans and it will eventually run low on money if Congress doesn’t do something.

Lawmakers say that’s all the more reason to pass reforms now.

“We’ve got this opportunity with RESA and I think it’s an important first step,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R – Ohio).

Portman says RESA, or the Retirement Enhancement Savings Act, would give millions of Americans — even those working part-time — access to job-sponsored saving accounts for the first time.

Portman has also introduced a bipartisan bill of his own that he says provides even more incentives for retirement savings.

Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown says there are generations of families in jeopardy.

“You see the desperation.”

He says RESA will help, but he fears Republicans will use the measure to undermine Social Security.

The plan has failed to pass Congress two years in a row. Lawmakers say they will continue to hold hearings to discuss the plan with hopes of passing it this year.

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