You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t think the United States is not making much headway in solving its retirement crisis.
“Americans and policymakers are starting to understand that the nation is not on solid footing,” said Greg Smith, president and chairman of the National Institute on Retirement Security at the NIRS conference in Washington, D.C., this week. “They are not positioned to be self-sufficient in their retirement years.”
The report looked at the factors that contribute to a secure retirement in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including potential retirement income, major retiree costs, such as housing and health care for older households, and labor market conditions for older workers.
It found that all states have room for improvement, no matter where they rank. No state ranks in the top group of states on all eight scorecard variables. For every state, at least one indicator of potential retirement income is lower, one measure of retiree costs is higher or one labor market variable is worse than in at least one other state.
And just because Wyoming scored high overall doesn’t mean it scored well in all areas that were studied, said Christian Weller, scorecard lead author and a professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
States received high scores in retirement income if their average defined contribution account balances and retirement account balances were relatively high and marginal tax rates were relatively low. South Dakota scored the highest in this category with a ranking of 9, followed by Alaska, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wyoming with an 8.