Barron’s: Here’s Proof That 401(k) Plans Are Not Working for Most Americans

By Shawn Langlois, MarketWatch, Dec. 13, 2019 1:09 pm ET

Clearly, the country’s in the midst of a savings crisis as families struggle to cover rising home costs, hefty student-loan debt and everything in between. And it seems it’s only getting worse, unless you’re at the top of the wealth pyramid.

The Economic Policy Institute nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank this week published a series of telling charts that “paint a picture of increasingly inadequate retirement savings for successive generations of Americans—and large disparities by income, race, ethnicity, education, and marital status.”

With almost half of all working-age families having zero in retirement savings, the fact that the median family had only $7,800 in these accounts shouldn’t come as a surprise. At the same time, the 90th percentile family had $320,000 and the top 1% of families (which isn’t shown on the chart) had $1,663,000 or more.

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