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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Most Private-Sector Workers Don't Have 401(k) Plans or Stocks

Toluse Olorunnipa at Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump is trying out a new campaign slogan: “How’s your 401(k) doing?” The answer for more than half of Americans is that they don’t have one.

Trump has tested out the line this month at a fundraiser, a campaign rally and in a White House meeting, predicting that the rising U.S. stock market will help him win re-election. But only about 45 percent of private-sector workers participate in any employer-sponsored retirement plan, and the lower-income workers in Trump’s political base are the least likely to hold money in such an account, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Trump mentions the stock market almost daily in tweets or public remarks, taking direct credit for record highs by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other indexes. But only about 14 percent of U.S. families directly own stocks, an asset class dominated by the country’s top earners, according to the Federal Reserve.

Meanwhile, the president has also rolled back efforts to expand retirement savings options to more middle-class and low-income workers.
Only 54 percent of Americans own stock in any form, down from 62 percent before the Great Recession.