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A secure retirement is out of reach for more and more Oregonians.

The Great Recession, the housing crash and bad corporate actors like Enron have taken a toll on retirement savings and employee pensions, causing many Oregonians to delay retirement. It’s all too common to hear people say, “I’ll have to work until I die.”

Today, most Oregon retirees rely on Social Security for a large percentage of their income.

The bottom 25 percent of income earners rely on Social Security for 85 percent of their income and the middle 50 percent rely on it for nearly 72 percent of their income.*

Women, people of color, and employees of small businesses are more likely to be left out of a secure retirement.

Among full-time employees nationally, less than half of African American, Latino and low-income workers have access to a retirement plan. And while women constitute just over 57 percent of all Oregon retirees, they make up nearly 83 percent of retirees in the bottom income group.*

 

When people can’t afford to retire, we all pay the price— through our families, our communities and the state.

We know that more than half of Oregonians don’t have enough money to retire. And when savings fall short, older adults are forced to rely on the public safety net or their families.

Oregon’s senior population is projected to grow from 502,000 to 950,000 by 2030. What is a problem today is on the path to becoming a social and state budgetary crisis for all of us.

With momentous impacts ahead, retirement security is a pressing community problem that goes beyond individual solutions.

 

We can—and must—find solutions that serve Oregonians and protect state resources.

Just as Oregon led the charge in addressing problems in our healthcare system, we need to tackle the challenge of creating retirement security for all working Oregonians.