This is why we should not only not cut Social Security, we should expand it. The workers who relied on 401Ks have finally figured out why companies were so happy to have them replace pension plans, and anyone who has a public pension plan better get ready as deficit hawks attack:
Aside from stagnant wages, soaring unemployment and plummeting home values, the major tragedy of this recession is the havoc it has wreaked on the retirement incomes of millions of Americans who have planned and saved their entire lives, only to watch that money drain out of their accounts much sooner than they anticipated.
Retirement statistics are grim. The percentage of American workers who said they have less than $10,000 in savings grew to 43 percent in 2010, according to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nearly a quarter of the workforce said they have postponed their planned retirement in the past year and a CareerBuilder.com survey reports that 61 percent of workers say they are now living paycheck to paycheck, as compared to 43 percent in 2007.
With rapidly dwindling savings and fewer opportunities for jobs than their younger counterparts, many older Americans are facing a very uncertain economic future.
"This is the undiscussed explosive bomb in all this, is all the pension benefits, all the 401(k) money that's been drained out by workers trying to stay afloat until they find a job," Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) told HuffPost. "There are a lot of people who, when this is over, are going to have nothing. They will have lost their house, they will have used all their pension money."
Many Americans seem to be losing hope. Only 16 percent of respondents to the EBRI survey expressed confidence in their ability to retire comfortably, the second lowest point in the 20-year history of the survey.
You mean people still expect to retire?