America faces a retirement crisis, as a substantial number of
working families are not saving enough to meet their needs in
retirement. Several national studies show that anywhere from
half to two-thirds of working families are at risk of not being able to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. Low-income working families are most at risk.
To help more workers save for retirement, five states are creating public-private partnerships to design and operate workplace retirement savings plans for private sector workers who do not have access to one. The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP), a national initiative that seeks to strengthen state policies on behalf of low-income working families, supports states’ efforts to provide workers with secure, low-cost and portable retirement savings plans. These plans will help low-income families better prepare for a financially secure retirement where they can support themselves and their families.
The need for high-quality child care has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Indeed, child care has become a critical support to allow millions of parents nationwide to work, go to school or receive training. Access to quality child care can also support the healthy development of children. At the same time, the cost of child care is significant, making it difficult for low-income families to afford. Without access to affordable, high-quality child care, low-income families can struggle to find work or
pursue education, and children may lose out on their full potential.
This policy brief focuses on access to child care through child care subsidy programs and state policies choices that better assist low-income working families; WPFP recognizes the importance of quality child care but that issue is not explicitly addressed here. The brief outlines barriers to accessing the subsidy for low-income families, reviews state policies that increase access to the subsidy and offers various recommendations states can take to support increased access.
Millions of American breadwinners work hard to support their families. But, despite their effort, almost one in three working families are mired in low-wage jobs that provide inadequate benefits and offer little opportunity for advancement and economic security. Compounding the problem are public policies that do not adequately prepare workers to advance to higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs or promote the creation of quality jobs.
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) was launched in 2002 by national philanthropic leaders who saw the need to strengthen state policies affecting these working families. This national initiative is now supported by the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Joyce and W.K. Kellogg foundations. WPFP focuses on the states because their policies and investments critically affect the lives of working families.
The WPFP is active in 22 states and the District of Columbia. In each state the WPFP partners with one or more nonprofit organizations to strengthen state policies to better prepare America's working families for a more secure economic future.
The New Normal: Supporting Nontraditional Students on the Path to a Degree (December 2016)
Download the report (pdf)