U.S. Hispanic households with relatively high annual incomes tend to have low levels of retirement savings.
Researchers Peter Orszag and Eric Rodriguez have published data supporting that conclusion in a new paper released by the Retirement Security Project, Washington, and National Council of La Raza, Los Angeles.
The researchers analyzed 2001 federal survey data and found that Hispanic households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 and either 401(k) plan accounts or individual retirement accounts had an average of only $22,831 in retirement plan assets, compared with an average of $58,848 for all households in that income category that had retirement accounts.
For Hispanic households with annual incomes between $75,000 and $100,000, retirement account assets averaged $22,488, compared with an average of $85,526 for all households in that income category.
Even at Hispanic households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $200,000, retirement account assets averaged only $100,183. The average was $164,449 for all households in the income category.
In the category for workers with at least $50,000 in annual earnings, the employer retirement plan participation rate was 75% for “white” workers, 73% for “Hispanic native-born” workers, and just 58% for “nonnative-born” Hispanic workers.
The researchers recommend that policymakers address the Hispanic gaps with tax incentives for savings, laws and regulations that encourage employers to enroll workers in retirement plans automatically, and incentives for employers to offer financial advice to plan members.
Incentives could come “in the form of a tax credit to employers who provide employees with access to an independent financial counselor once a year,” the researchers write.