Friday, October 31, 2008

Scary Financial Mess Only Seems to Worsen

General Motors (GM) is ridding its employees of their 401(k) plans, and experts predict other corporations to possibly do the same. Last Thursday, GM, which had previously matched employees’ 401 (k) plans up to 4 percent, decided to suspend the match in order to cut costs.

This negatively affects those already struggling due to the financial and economic crises because it reduces the growth of their input. Employees at GM counting on their 401(k) plans to increase in the coming year so that they can retire at that time, now may be pressured to work longer than they had planned. And let’s not forget that these employees did nothing wrong, yet they are forced to bear the burden.

As the EESI team continues to advocate economic security for elders it is vital to address the fact that more elders are now feeling and becoming economically insecure because of the weakening economy. Advocating for elders in the workforce is also becoming more important as more decide to work longer. Not only are companies, such as GM, stripping away 401(k) plans, but others are reducing benefits such as healthcare, too.

On this Halloween, it is indeed a scary time for our country; we have now seen our economy steadily decline for over a year when the average decline lasts 10 months and a stock market decline of 38 percent when the average rate of decline in an economic downturn is 30 percent. However, there is good news; now more than ever people are interested in economic security and wanting to address the issue head-on. The actions of the EESI have proven to be successful due in part to the increased popularity of the retirement savings issue and we look forward to this added interest leading to even more successes for elder economic security in the near future.

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