A shopper carries a shopping bag while walking in the Union Square district on February 27, 2018 in San Francisco, California.

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'Retirement Crisis' Looms For ​Half Of Californians, Study Predicts

Matt Bigler
July 31, 2019 - 3:11 pm

A new study out of UC Berkeley finds about half of California workers have no retirement savings and experts are warning the state may be heading toward a retirement crisis.

The study looked at private sector workers in California and found not only are they not saving enough for retirement, many aren't putting away anything. 

“Basically about half of private sector workers in California have no retirement assets, which include 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions,” Nari Rhee, director of the Retirement Security Program at UC Berkeley, said.

The problem is twofold as many employers do not offer their workers retirement programs that automatically deduct money from their paychecks, Rhee said. For those employees who do have access to those savings, many are overwhelmed with the investment options and opt to do nothing.  

The end result, Rhee says, is that more seniors will face a declining standard of living in retirement. 

“There is a statewide and national retirement crisis, and policymakers and the public need to pay serious attention to how we’re going to provide for all of these seniors who likely aren’t going to have enough to live on over the long haul,” she said. 

There is one bit of good news: California just recently launched CalSavers, a state-sponsored retirement program for companies with five or more employees that do not offer a pension or 401(k).