Americans Seem to Have Given Up on Retirement Plans

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This chart gets filed under things that leave me scratching my head. It’s from a survey published in the latest EBRI newsletter, and it shows how much people value certain kinds of job benefits. Health coverage is #1, unsurprisingly. But the perceived importance of retirement benefits has plummeted over the past couple of decades. This applies to both traditional pensions and 401(k) plans. Retirement benefits are still considered “very important” or “extremely important” by three-quarters of those surveyed, but fewer than half rank retirement benefits as one of the two most important benefits. That compares to nearly 90 percent who did so in 1999.

I’m really not sure what to make of this. Is it because Americans have given up on retirement plans they think are too cheap to make much difference? Do lots of Americans not plan to retire, for either good or bad reasons? Do they think Social Security will be sufficient? None of these explanations makes much sense. But what does?

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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