OLYMPIA – State legislators held a work session today, casting a light on the growing problem of retirement insecurity in Washington.

One in four Washington residents between the ages of 45-64 years old has $25,000 or less in savings for retirement. In addition, 77 percent of employees who work for small businesses lack the option to save through a workplace retirement plan. Nationwide, the majority of Americans have less than $10,000 in savings and a third of working people say they have even less than that saved for retirement.

There were nine presenters from business, labor, finance and research sectors. They discussed a wide variety of issues ranging from defined benefit pension plans, to small business options and worker retirement readiness.

Even though the economy is recovering, Americans remain concerned and anxious about retirement, and they want help. In fact, 89 percent of Americans have indicated that they are seeking some form of retirement assistance or guidance. More and more employers are offering 401k plans instead of traditional defined benefit plans, making retirement even more difficult to navigate.

Click on the links below for more information and to view the documents and presentations from today’s work session:

Overview of Retirement in Washington (Millman)

How Washington Rates on Retirement Security and Defined Benefit Plan Issues (National Institute on Retirement Security)

Can you afford to grow old in Washington State? (Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging)

State Based Social Security (AFSCME)

Are Washington Workers Ready for Retirement? (The New School)

Retirement Plans that Work for Small Business (Small Business Majority)

Public Sector and Non-Profit Retirement (TIAA CREF)

Work and Save (AARP)

Work Session Agenda

Legislators who participated: Sen. Steve Conway, D-South Tacoma; Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle; Sen. Maralyn Chase, D- Seattle; Sen. Karen Fraser, D- Thurston County; Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D- Seattle; Sen. Karen Keiser, D- Kent; and Rep. Chris Reykdal, D-Tumwater.