The Debt We Owe

One aspect of the impending retirement savings crisis that hasn't received enough attention is the discrepancy in financial outcomes by race. For many Black and Hispanic workers, the dream of a secure retirement is out of reach because of systemic flaws in our financial system.

In order to ensure that people in all lines of work have access to retirement security, something has to change. To that end, this report examines the depth of the racial retirement wealth gap and outlines five things employers can do today to help Black and Hispanic workers save for retirement.

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Financial security is more important now than ever

Several major occurrences impacted the retirement landscape in 2020. And while the future of the economy is still largely unpredictable, the aftermath of COVID-19 made one thing clear: Financial wellness is top of mind for most Americans.

America’s retirement savings crisis remains an unsolved challenge — especially for small businesses.

Our research focuses on small business employees and provides a voice to a group that’s otherwise disregarded in other retirement studies. By surveying employees of small and medium-sized business employers, we examine how SMB employees approached retirement, their financial preparedness, and their financial wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the U.S. economy continues to respond to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our research suggests that SMB employees will only continue to focus on retirement preparedness. After reading this report, you’ll learn how SMB employees are saving for retirement, when they plan to retire, and what they envision once they reach retirement age.


of employees say peace of mind, is the most important factor to their financial wellness.


of SMB employees rate their financial wellness as high.


of SMB employees say they are saving for retirement, but 48% say they’re using checking or savings accounts to save.

How a 401(k) can benefit your small business

When SMB employees are offered a 401(k) plan, they save more than the industry average.

Access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan is the top reason SMB employees start saving for retirement.

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