American families face a growing retirement crisis. More than half of all working-age households are in danger of having to make severe and painful cuts to their standard of living as they grow old. Basically, American families need more and more money for retirement, while their savings have actually remained flat or even declined. People live longer and health care costs are rising faster than inflation. But, unstable jobs, uncertain financial markets and employers cutting back on offering retirement benefits for employees make it more difficult to save for retirement. No wonder then that the retirement crisis is getting worse.
This worsening crisis underscores the urgent need for policymakers to help families save more for their retirement. The tax code offers a particularly effective yet often underexplored tool at the federal and state levels to help Americans save enough for life after work. Please join the Center for American Progress and The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis as we host a conversation with policy experts and government officials to discuss the retirement crisis and explore ways to address the crisis through tax reform by means of promoting refundable tax credits for retirement savings and encouraging relevant reforms at the state level.
Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy, Center for American Progress
Featured panelists, The State of Research on Efficiency of Savings Incentives:
Lily Batchelder, Professor of Law and Public Policy, New York University School of Law
John Friedman, Associate Professor of Economics, Brown University
William Gale, Arjay and Frances Miller Chair in Federal Economic Policy in the Economic Studies Program, Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
Teresa Ghilarducci, Director, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School
Featured panelists, Raising Awareness of the Retirement Crisis and Tax Reform as a Solution:
Shaun O’Brien, Assistant Policy Director for Health and Retirement, AFL-CIO
Gary Koenig, Vice President, Economic and Consumer Security, AARP Public Policy Institute
Diane Oakley, Executive Director, National Institute on Retirement Security
Rebecca Vallas, Director of Policy, Poverty to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress
Closing keynote address:
Karen Dynan, Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy and Chief Economist, U.S. Department of the Treasury