Philly controller calls for more retirement savings

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Philadelphia Controller Alan Butkovitz says about a third of seniors in Philadelphia are living in poverty. (AP file photo)

Philadelphia Controller Alan Butkovitz says about a third of seniors in Philadelphia are living in poverty. (AP file photo)

Too many Philadelphia residents are not saving enough for their golden years, according to the city’s controller. 

About a third of seniors in Philadelphia are living in poverty, said Controller Alan Butkovitz. And more than half don’t have the money necessary to meet basic needs without relying on public assistance.

“People who are retired in Philadelphia don’t have the money to live a dignified lifestyle,” he said. “Social Security, on average, is paying Philadelphia retirees $16,000 a year when it take $28,000 to provide for basic necessities.”

Because people are living longer, their money has to stretch even more.

“It’s not unusual for people to live well into their 90s. That’s something the Philadelphia pension fund has had to recognize,” he said. “So, the good news on the life-expectancy front, it gives us some issues to think about in terms of financial planning.”

The controller wants the city or state to set up a retirement program that employers could join to make it easier for them to offer a plan.

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