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Danger Zone: America's Retirement System Is Breaking Down

CBS News

Roughly half of all U.S. families have no money set aside for retirement, Federal Reserve data show. Not a cent. But even that alarming savings deficit doesn't fully capture the emerging socioeconomic crisis facing what is, after all, a rapidly graying nation. [...]

As of 2010, only 51 percent of private-sector workers had access to a retirement plan at work, according to estimates by Robert Hiltonsmith, a policy analyst at Demos, a liberal-leaning think-tank. And that figure is decreasing, down 10 percentage points from a decade ago. [...]

Another strike is the high administrative, marketing, asset-management and other fees many financial firms charge for 401(k) plans. Hiltonsmith calculates that such fees diminish a person's nest egg by an average of about 30 percent. Webb comes up with a slightly lower figure, saying that relative to a low-cost index fund, an actively managed 401(k) reduces retirees' wealth by about 20 percent.