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Research Report

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As Americans increasingly worry about their retirement prospects, states play an important and growing role in retirement security policy. States already manage long-term care programs for the elderly through Medicaid. Concerned about the impact of future elder poverty on state and local budgets and their local economies, a number of states are exploring the creation of low-cost and low-risk retirement savings plans for private sector workers who lack access to pensions or 401(k)s on the job. Some states have developed programs to help older workers find work.

This report presents the Financial Security Scorecard, designed to inform state-level stakeholders and policymakers regarding the financial security outlook for future retirees and to help identify potential areas of focus for state-based policy interventions to improve retirement prospects. Specifically, the scorecard ranks each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia (hereafter referred to as “states”) in three sources of potential economic pressures for future retirees, as measured through eight specific variables.

This analysis enables policymakers to understand how their state fares relative to other states in terms of potential economic pressures for future retirees, and which areas of retirement security need the most attention. At the same time, the raw data underlying the scorecard indicate that in some areas, all states have room for improvement regardless of how they rank.


National Institute on Retirement Security



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