Having a secure retirement is an important pillar of strength for the middle class in America. Yet, it is unavailable to too many workers in our country. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re acutely aware of the particular challenges faced by middle class Latinos in the workforce. Not only do Latinos face wage disparities, they’re also less likely to have access to retirement savings plans. Research shows that only about a third of Latino workers have access to a retirement plan through their employer, compared to more than half of African-American and white workers.
For this reason, the Obama Administration has worked to expand access to retirement savings opportunities for everyone. We recently finalized rules that will help more states create retirement programs for workers who don’t have access to a 401(k). Such programs are just one more way to make it easier for more workers to save for retirement.
It’s just as important to protect those hard-earned savings, and the Department of Labor has been active on that front as well. Earlier this year, we established new rules to ensure that the guidance you receive from a financial adviser about your retirement account is always in your best interest.
As important as individual savings may be, almost no one can save enough for a decades-long retirement alone. This entire administration has pushed to strengthen Social Security so that it fulfills the promise made to today’s retirees and workers looking forward to a financially secure retirement. Social Security is incredibly important to America’s workers and retirees, particularly Latinos, who may not have other retirement savings.
If you haven’t started saving, now is the time. Whether this is your first day on the job, or you’re approaching retirement, putting something away now will mean breathing a little easier in the future. The Labor Department, our colleagues at the Social Security Administration, and our sister federal agencies will keep working hard to strengthen existing programs and create new savings opportunities so that all workers can enjoy the dignified retirement they deserve.