A PBS documentary airing on Frontline Tuesday, called The Retirement Gamble, says most 401(k) programs are “lousy.” The program, written and produced by Martin Smith, shows numerous people worried about their various states of retirement saving. Many of the experts interviewed say 401(k)s are a favorable choice for the industry, including brokers who sell them as middlemen. However, they say they are no longer advantageous for the people who actually use them, citing excessive fees and lack of clear guidance amongst other things.
For those in the industry, the retirement problem is well known. Just last month EBA reported on the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s retirement confidence survey, which found that 28% of respondents — the highest level in the survey’s history — are not at all confident about being able to afford a comfortable retirement. Smith has similar numbers, saying half of all Americans say they can’t afford to save for retirement and one third have next to no savings at all.
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