Retirement Security

Fewer and fewer people have access to resources that would provide economic security in retirement. Woodstock Institute identifies disparities and works to expand access to retirement savings.

March 20, 2014
Program will help millions of Illinois workers save for retirement
February 7, 2014

Over half of the private-sector workforce in Illinois—that’s more than 2.5 million people—lacks access to an employment-based retirement savings plan, Woodstock Institute research found.

September 24, 2013

For our 40th anniversary, we have secured some incredible keynote speakers you’re sure to enjoy. From a range of backgrounds and expertise, our speakers will make you think differently about the work you do every day.

September 16, 2013

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives could vote as early as tomorrow on devastating cuts to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps). 

Tags: snap
September 12, 2013
As more and more baby boomers retire, the financial security of older Americans is becoming of greater importance to our society.
September 12, 2013
Forty years ago Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld decided to take action since they were unhappy with redlining, predatory lending, and inequality in access to credit and financial services that plagued the Chicago region.
July 26, 2013

In the early 1970s, Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld were unhappy with the state of things in the Chicago region. Redlining, predatory lending, and inequality plagued the area.

Dory Rand
July 17, 2013

Yesterday I celebrated my first five years with Woodstock Institute. When I joined Woodstock as president in 2008, the financial crisis was just getting into full swing and the future was quite uncertain. 

June 24, 2013

It’s rare to see anything positive coming out of Springfield on social welfare, but a bill that recently passed both houses of the General Assembly may be a turn in the right direction. HB2262 would entirely remove the asset eligibility requirements for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, the cash assistance program for families living at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty level. 

June 14, 2013

Today at its annual Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting, Woodstock Institute announced its “Commitment to Action,” which will further our work to strengthen retirement security.

May 28, 2013

A bill that removes the asset limit for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients in Illinois, making it easier for them to build savings, has passed both chambers of the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. 

November 16, 2012
Presentation for the 2012 Illinois Asset Building Group Conference. Spencer Cowan presented on sources of retirement income and recent trends, access to employment-based retirement savings plans in Illinois, and policy recommendations.
September 11, 2012

Majority of Illinois private sector workers lacks access to retirement savings plans
 
More than half of Illinois private sector workers lack access to retirement savings plans through their jobs, a new report from Woodstock Institute found. The lack of access affects every corner of the state—more than half of private sector workers in every community in Illinois lack access to employment-based retirement savings plans.

September 10, 2012
Millions of Americans are approaching retirement age without adequate retirement savings. The ongoing foreclosure and financial crisis and declines in housing values wiped out trillions in savings and home equity that people counted on using to help support themselves later in life. American workers, particularly those nearing retirement, are deeply concerned about income insecurity and fear that they will outlive their savings. Without adequate savings, American workers face the prospect of a decline in their standard of living during retirement.
Access to Employment-Based Retirement Plans
April 24, 2012
This fact sheet highlights the findings of a report that examines employment data and estimated retirement plan sponsorship rates in Illinois and identifies the number of Illinois employees who likely do not have access to employment-based retirement savings plans. It also describes the basic principles that are essential to expanding access to employment-based retirement savings plans.
August 17, 2010

As bank regulators take a close look at modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) through a series of hearings and public comment period, we’re walking you through some key reasons why CRA must be updated. Last week, we explained how assessment areas don’t fully capture where a bank does business (see the discussion at Huffington Post). Today we’ll explain how CRA applies only to a fraction of the financial industry and why communities need a broader CRA to ensure that all financial institutions are offering safe and sustainable products where they do business.

August 17, 2010

As bank regulators take a close look at modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) through a series of hearings and public comment period, we’re walking you through some key reasons why CRA must be updated. Last week, we explained how assessment areas don’t fully capture where a bank does business (see the discussion at Huffington Post). Today we’ll explain how CRA applies only to a fraction of the financial industry and why communities need a broader CRA to ensure that all financial institutions are offering safe and sustainable products where they do business.

April 5, 2010

Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security program designed to help the most vulnerable Americans with disabilities meet basic needs, has seen several successful efforts to encourage recipients to work, but still discourages savings, says a recent Woodstock Institute letter to Illinois lawmakers.

January 22, 2010

According to recent news reports, Illinois’ bankruptcies are going up—and outpacing the rest of the nation. In northern Illinois, bankruptcy filings rose by 38% in 2009, compared to 34.5% growth nationally. The trend looks likely to continue in 2010.

December 4, 2009

The Savings for American Families' Future Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 1961) would expand access to retirement savings for low- and moderate-wealth Americans.

October 22, 2009

Checking accounts with high-cost overdraft fees are increasing older persons’ economic vulnerability, says a new report from Woodstock Institute, “Improving Economic Security Later in Life: Meeting the Credit and Financial Services Needs of Older Persons.” The controversial overdraft fees, recently under fire from Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), particularly burden beneficiaries of Social Security payments and low-income older persons.

February 26, 2009

Currently about half of all workers lack workplace pensions or retirement plans. Among the President’s many bold ideas outlined in his recent address to Congress and 2010 budget are two little-noticed proposals for helping people build retirement security.

January 21, 2009

President Obama said in his inaugural speech today that “a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended … on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart….”  As we “begin again the work of remaking America,” we need to remember and apply some key messages from the speech to address the economic crisis.

April 24, 2006
Malcolm Bush and Jonah Katz   This alert analyses a variety of measures of debt to provide an overall sense of changes in U.S. household debt levels and the impact of those changes on different groups of families.

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