The decades-long shift away from pensions and toward individual savings accounts as a means to ensure widespread retirement security remains incomplete and instead has become a key source of financial insecurity for millions of American families. Although insufficient retirement savings is widely acknowledged as a problem that needs to be solved, a federal policy solution has not materialized. In the absence of congressional action, states are beginning to step into the breach. By crafting their own set of policies to support long-term savings objectives, states are launching a new era of retirement security federalism. That has the potential to significantly transform the country’s savings policy landscape.
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