Report: Few Americans save for retirement

By:  Paris Achem

More than half of American households with someone 55 or older have no retirement savings, and many will have only Social Security benefits to live on after they stop working, according to a study by the Government Accountability Office.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., requested the study to help build support for legislation he has proposed to boost Social Security benefits and extend the program's solvency through 2065.

"This report makes it clear that there is a retirement crisis in America today," Sanders, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, said in a statement. "At a time when half of all older workers have no retirement savings, we need to expand, not cut, Social Security benefits so that every American can retire with dignity."

The Social Security Expansion Act would require Americans to pay the same percentage of their income into the retirement program. Americans don't pay into the program for earnings exceeding $110,000.

"Right now, Bill Gates pays the same as someone making $100,000 or $110,000 a year," said Dave Reville, spokesman for AARP Vermont.

Removing the income cap could generate $68 billion per year, according to the GAO. The Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency working for Congress.

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