Thursday, January 26, 2012


NYC Comptroller Liu, along with leading research institutions, released the following report related to New Yorkers not being prepared for what should be our "Golden " years. If you keep putting of saving for retirement, I hope this post serves as a reminder.



Workers in New York City Less Prepared for Senior Years Than Rest of U.S.

NEW YORK, NY – A study released today shows a growing number of New Yorkers don’t have enough money to retire. Over one-third of older residents are expected to either subsist on Social Security, or not be able to retire at all.

The study, entitled Are New Yorkers Ready for Retirement?, is part of a research initiative by New York City Comptroller John C. Liu and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at The New School. Using recent New York City and New York State metropolitan-area data, the report examines whether New York City residents are financially prepared for their senior years. The answer, increasingly, is no.

The study found:

· Between 2000-2009, the percentage of employees in New York City who had access to employer-sponsored retirement plans declined from 48% to 40% – below the U.S. average, which is 53% (2009).

· Only 35% of New York City workers participated in an employer-based retirement plan in 2009.

· More than one-third of New York City households in which the head is near retirement age will have to subsist almost entirely on Social Security income or will not be able to retire at all due to the fact that they have less than $10,000 in savings.

“It is a significant public policy concern when such a high proportion of the workforce will not have enough money in their retirement years,” Comptroller Liu said. “This report focuses attention on the need to help workers, both public and private sector, properly prepare throughout their working careers for their eventual retirement.”

The report found that employers have become less willing or able to sponsor pensions – a trend that is true across most industries and occupations, and affects New Yorkers of nearly all ages and income groups. The brewing retirement crisis cuts across racial, ethnic and gender lines.

“The deck is becoming increasingly stacked against New Yorkers in their efforts to retire,” said SCEPA Director Teresa Ghilarducci, Ph.D. “Fewer New Yorkers have access to the convenience and affordability of employer-sponsored retirement plans. More and more residents now face a choice between retiring into poverty or continuing to work in old age. Without significant policy reforms, the economic tea leaves foretell a decrease in the standard of living for retired New Yorkers. ”

The study was authored by Dr. Ghilarducci, a national expert on public pensions and retirement issues, along with economist Joelle Saad-Lessler, Ph.D. The New York City Comptroller’s Office Budget and Policy Bureau provided key data and analysis.

The main study data were drawn from the 2001 and 2010 Current Population Survey (CPS), the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the 2009 New York State Personal Income Tax Files.

Download the “Retirement Readiness” Report and Fact Sheet at

The report is the fifth in a series produced by Comptroller Liu’s Retirement Security NYC initiative:

  • Municipal Employee Compensation in New York City
  • The $8 Billion Question: An Analysis of NYC Pension Costs Over the Past Decade
  • Sustainable or Not? NYC Pension Cost Projections through 2060
  • A Better Bang for New York City’s Buck: An Efficiency Comparison of Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Defined Contribution Retirement Savings Plans

Bridget C. Fisher, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA), 212-229-5901 x4911,
Stephanie Hoo, Office of NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, 212-669-3747,

About Retirement Security NYC

Retirement Security NYC is a major initiative launched by Comptroller John C. Liu to protect the retirement security of public employees while ensuring the City’s financial health. Retirement Security NYC has partnered with two leading institutions – the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) and The New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) – to analyze the current state of public pensions and offer sensible reforms.

About the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis (SCEPA) at The New School

SCEPA is the economic policy research arm of the department of economics at The New School in New York City’s Greenwich Village. SCEPA works to focus public debate on the role government can and should play in the economy to raise living standards, create economic security, and attain full employment. With a focus on collaboration and outreach, it provides original, standards-based research on key policy issues to empower policy makers to create positive change. For more information, please visit

About The New School

Located in the heart of New York’s Greenwich Village, The New School is a center of academic excellence where intellectual and artistic freedoms thrive. More than 10,200 matriculated students and 6,400 continuing education students enjoy a disciplined education supported by small class sizes, superior resources, and renowned working faculty members who practice what they teach. The New School is comprised of The New School for General Studies, The New School for Social Research, Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, Parsons The New School for Design, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, Mannes College The New School for Music, The New School for Drama, and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. For more information, please visit

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