The median net worth for the bottom 25 percent of American families is only $310.

The Facts

Large shares of American workers lack access to well-designed retirement savings programs, a leading factor behind persistent wealth inequality. Current federal retirement savings policy simply wasn’t designed to encourage and reward participation for those most in need of building wealth. The proof? The median retirement savings balance for the bottom 50 percent of American families is $0.

It is no wonder 82 percent of American voters are concerned that retirement security is a problem for the country. And one of the main reasons: federal savings policy relies on tax deductions, which overwhelmingly skew towards more affluent taxpayers. Those in greatest need are the least likely to have access to a quality retirement plan and the least likely to benefit from federal incentives to save.

Explore the Wealth Map

Our Proposal

In order to empower low- and middle-income Americans to save and build wealth, policymakers should develop a new retirement savings program modeled after the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), a 401(k)-like program enjoyed by federal employees.

Key features of TSP include automatic enrollment for eligible workers, low 
fees, simple plan options, and federal matching contributions to reward and encourage savings.

Learn More About the Proposal

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The Inclusive Wealth Building Initiative is a project of the Economic Innovation Group.

The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is an ideas laboratory and advocacy organization whose mission is to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors to forge a more dynamic American economy.

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