America’s Retirement Divide: How Black and Hispanic workers fall through the cracks

Date: November 16, 2022

The connection between work and retirement is a two-way street. Bad jobs lead to bad retirements, but retirement insecurity also forces older workers to accept bad jobs.

The challenges facing older workers and those facing retirees are often considered separately, but the Economic Policy Institute and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis’ Older Workers and Retirement Chartbook connect the dots.

This event served as an occasion for the release of the Chartbook and will focus on the challenges facing Black and Hispanic workers in preparing for retirement. Acting Social Security Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi kicked off the discussion with an overview of Social Security’s importance to Black and Hispanic Americans. This was followed by a panel discussion of how the employer-based retirement system poorly serves workers of color, amplifying employment disparities.


  • Kilolo Kijakazi, Acting Commissioner, Social Security Administration
  • Siavash Radpour, Associate Research Director, ReLab at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis
  • Tracey Gronniger, Managing Director, Economic Security Team, Justice in Aging
  • Nari Rhee, Director of the Retirement Security Program, UC Berkeley Labor Center
  • Ismael Cid-Martinez, Senior Policy Analyst, U.S. Joint Economic Committee
  • Valerie Wilson, Director, Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy, Economic Policy Institute 

Moderator: Teresa Ghilarducci, Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Professor of Economics and Director, Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis 

Economic Policy Institute President Heidi Shierholz gave introductory remarks and RRF Foundation for Aging’s Program Consultant Naomi Stanhaus gave closing remarks.

When: Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 12:00–1:00 p.m. ET, 9:00–10:00 a.m. PT

Where: YouTube, Zoom

The Economic Policy Institute and the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis would like to thank the RRF Foundation for Aging for its generous support of this project.