The American Retirement Savings Deficit Meets China

A central theme in “Boomercide” is our retirement savings deficit. According to Retirement USA, the difference between what Americans will need for retirement and what they have actually saved is $6.6 trillion.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute reports on the average retirement savings of various age groups. The current figures are scary:

Workers ages 45-54 have saved just under $44,000.

Baby boomers, those aged 55-64, have approximately $65,000 in savings.

People 65+ have saved $56,000. If you retire at 65 and live to 85, that $56,000 doesn’t go very far.

According to Reuters’ article “China slides faster into pensions black hole”, it looks looks like we are not alone. China is graying a an incredibly fast pace and the one child policy is a major issue. Here are some of their numbers:

“Policy makers and economists have long been worried about the financial burden of China’s expanding patchwork of pension schemes, but those concerns have recently escalated as its rural pension scheme took off in the past three years.

The funding shortage is daunting: economists say it could blow out to a whopping $10.8 trillion in the next 20 years from $2.6 trillion in 2010, towering over China’s $3 trillion onshore savings, the biggest hoard of domestic savings in the world.

Funding shortfalls hit 16.5 trillion yuan in 2010, the two economists said, and will quadruple to a stunning 68.2 trillion yuan by 2033. That is about 40 percent of China’s gross domestic product, assuming its economy grows 6 percent a year.

Unless China diverts 80 percent of dividends from listed state firms to pension funds to balance the pension account by 2050, they said, the nation may suffer “enormous fiscal stress”.”

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