Minorities ill-prepared for retirement

Minorities, especially Latinos, are not saving enough for retirement and are less likely to be covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan than white workers, according to a study by the National Institute on Retirement Security.The study also found that minority households have substantially lower retirement savings balances than white households, even after controlling for age and income.Nari Rhee, manager of research at NIRS and author of “Race and Retirement Insecurity in the United States,” said that younger people from all backgrounds tend to have less access to retirement plans in the workplace and that there are some geographic differences, but “even at the same age, we are seeing racial disparities.”A lot of that racial disparity can be chalked up to occupational characteristics, she said.In her report, Rhee points out that public-sector workers have greater access to retirement plans at work than private-sector workers. There is a high concentration of black workers in public-sector jobs, she said, which boosts their access, but “Latinos take a double hit: they are less represented in the public sector and work in lower wage jobs in the private sector,” she said.If the report looks at just native-born Latinos, the retirement gap shrinks, but it shines a spotlight on the fact that a lot of immigrant Latinos are left out, she said.Cultural influences can have a major impact on retirement savings, according to a report by The Principal Financial Group. Like the NIRS report, it found that there is a large subset of the Latino population that is “unacculturated,” and it is this group that has the lowest retirement plan participation rate across companies of all sizes. Read More

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