President Barack Obama wants to give low-wage workers a new way to save for retirement. His proposal might do some good -- not by helping workers, most of whom are unlikely to take advantage of it, but by spurring a discussion about how to fix a broken retirement system.
It’s beyond dispute that the system is failing. Only 1 in 2 workers has access to a retirement plan through an employer. Half of Americans aren’t saving anything at all for retirement. And Social Security benefits, which averaged $1,269 a month in 2013, are barely enough to keep people out of poverty.