By Chris Adams

Is there a retirement crisis?

For two experts at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the question comes up over and over – and their answer is that whatever word you use, there are plenty of reasons for concern.

The GAO is Congress’ investigative arm, and over the years it has written a small mountain of reports on the status of the nation’s retirement system – and what might be done about it.

Frank Todisco, chief actuary, and Charles Ford, a senior analyst, talked about the retirement system – from the big picture to the small details. Todisco (and another GAO analyst) recently distilled his thoughts on the overall status of the retirement system in a piece for The Hill, concluding that “while many workers are faring well and saving adequately for retirement, the data indicate that many others are not faring so well.” That makes it difficult to rely on estimates for the “typical” or “average” retiree.

In a session with National Press Foundation fellows, Todisco and Ford discussed three key reports: