State Democratic legislators held a work session on Tuesday to shine light onto the considerable and growing problem of retirement insecurity in our state and in our country (TRT: 1:12) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

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Staggeringly, a majority of Americans nationwide have less than $10,000 in savings and a third of working people say they have even less than that saved for retirement. Sen. Steve Conway of South Tacoma led Tuesday’s work session and is worried that too many Washingtonians aren’t prepared for retirement.

Sen. Steve Conway, D- South Tacoma: (TRT: 25 ) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “You know, we have 45 percent of our citizens that have no savings for retirement. And we need to figure out a way to help them and so we gotta begin this dialogue. We have certain citizens who are employed by people where they do have access to good retirement and we have many who are not. And so it is critical for this state – for the sake of all the citizens of this state – for us to start this dialogue.”

One in four Washington residents between the ages of 45-64 years old has $25,000 or less in savings for retirement. With more and more employers offering 401k plans instead of traditional defined benefit plans, this makes retirement even more difficult to navigate. Tuesday’s work session in Olympia was surely only the first of many conversations surrounding retirement insecurity in Washington state.

Nicole Vukonich reporting in Olympia.