State-sponsored plans aren't the only remedy, but at least they offer a glimmer of hope. If Congress is serious about facing the retirement savings crisis, they'd be better off pursuing similarly productive avenues like shoring up Social Security's long-term financial health or passing reforms to nurture low-cost, high quality retirement savings plans that could be available to everyone. And who is hit hardest by Washington's benefits-killing approach to health care and retirement? It's low-income workers, a growing number of whom are facing retirement age with zero retirement savings. A generation ago, they might have been covered by a pension plan, now they are lucky if they are covered by Social Security. The average monthly retirement benefit for Social Security recipients? Just $1,360 per month, which is roughly the federal poverty level for a household of two. That's not a safety net, that's about half of one.