Many see the lack of retirement savings among the American population as a retirement crisis waiting to happen, as workers age without the financial safety-net they need after they stop working. But one proposal is aiming to fix this by using a model similar to what some other countries use.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at a proposal to have employers contribute $0.50 per hour to a private universal retirement account. Dan cites proponents' figures that this would generate $1,000 per year in retirement savings, which could build to $160,000 over a 45-year career based on past returns. Dan points out that this is similar to Australia's superannuation scheme, which requires employers to contribute 9.25% to retirement accounts on behalf of their workers. Yet opponents argue that even though these savings are automatic, they could pressure wages downward and make life even harder for the low-income workers that the measure is meant to help.