There are large structural gaps in the employer-sponsored retirement system. I would like delve a bit into the kinds of workers who are left out, and why.
Research & Publications
This brief examines the economic value of DB pensions—which provide secure monthly retirement income based on salary and years of service—for public employees, employers, and residents in Marin County.
A new research brief by the UC Berkeley Labor Center demonstrates how defined benefit (DB) pensions—which provide secure monthly retirement income based on salary and years of service—support a quality public sector workforce in Marin County.
Testimony of Nari Rhee before the U.S. DOL ERISA Advisory Council Hearing. The US private sector employer-sponsored retirement system leaves out many workers, disproportionately impacting Blacks and Latinos. While some states have forged their own path to try to close this coverage gap, these efforts are limited in scope by ERISA preemption. Federal policy action is necessary so that all workers are covered by a plan that effectively prepares them for a financially secure retirement.
Testimony of Nari Rhee before the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor on how the US retirement system can be strengthened and made more inclusive, so that all workers – regardless of race, gender, or class – can have economic security in retirement.
October 7, 2021
How Defined Benefit Pensions Support a Quality Public Sector Workforce in Marin County
June 23, 2021
Testimony: Examining Pathways to Build a Stronger More Inclusive Retirement System
June 7, 2021
Will saving for retirement soon get simpler? Here’s what Congress has planned
December 22, 2020
Older workers are facing fewer job prospects and higher COVID risks
February 9, 2017
California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SB 1234): FAQ for Unions and Union Members
The report found that not only do teachers have better retirement outcomes with a pension plan, but pensions are a critical workforce retention tool. This is a key consideration as public schools in many communities grapple with teacher shortages.
A UC Berkeley Labor Center study also found that three out of 10 seniors in California do not have enough income to cover their basic needs, with the inequity falling hardest on seniors of color, older women, and those who are unmarried or are renters.
The rise in scams comes as one in three Californian seniors already lack the money to meet their basic needs, according to UC Berkeley’s Labor Center.
For decades, “we underfunded public services in California,” Rhee tells me. “It comes down to these very individual cases, but I think it ties into this larger issue of how we recruit, retain and compensate public employees.”
According to a 2019 study by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, more than 60% of private sector workers in this state who were 25 to 64 years old had no company-supplied plan to build savings for retirement by deferring some income (as in a pension) or redirecting part of their paychecks into investments (as in a 401(k) plan).