Accounting change makes U.S. retirement savings look bigger

A revision in the way the Commerce Department counts pension obligations not backed by income or assets makes it appear that Americans are much more prepared for retirement than before. By counting unfunded liabilities of pension-plan sponsors the same way as money in the bank, the government has raised the savings rate for 2012 to 5.6%, from 4.1%. That added $200 billion to the government's official figure for personal savings last year.

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