Overview:America is facing a retirement crisis. In 2010, 75% of Americans nearing retirement had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts. Even more disturbing, half of all private sector workers currently have no employer-provided retirement plan. While this crisis is acknowledged by government, businesses, unions, investors and others, more can be done to address it.
In response, earlier this year Maryland Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy launched the interdisciplinary Center for Retirement Initiatives. The Center is working to build on the momentum taking hold in states across the country by studying and facilitating efforts to expand retirement options. Its mission will be to help states implement savings programs by conducting original research and compiling existing research on the most effective retirement options, developing methods to understand and facilitate the public debate, becoming a clearinghouse for best practices, participating in conferences and other events, and disseminating information.
A diverse board of advisors will work with the Center’s new Executive Director, Angela Antonelli, to examine a range of retirement savings options and how these options should be structured and managed. It will tell compelling tales which have not made it into the research papers and will examine what language is most effective.
While work to expand access to retirement accounts is being done in several states, there is no entity that brings the different efforts together. That's what the Center will do. And it will bring that message to a wider audience through studies, regional conferences, publications and the new use of media. Through its work, the Center will work to help lower and middle income Americans find a way to live out their years with dignity and support.