The nation’s low savings rate undercuts U.S. long-term growth, a coalition of financial services companies and retirement groups warned Tuesday.

“Higher household savings rates would not only improve the positions of individuals, it would raise gross domestic product in the long run,” the group said at the U.S. Savings Forum in Washington, D.C.

Literally in the shadow of the Capitol, the coalition warned Congressional proposals that cut back on tax breaks for savings to produce immediate revenue gains would add to the federal deficit in the future by raising the demand from under-saved retirees for government safety net programs.

Higher savings rates would make the country less dependent on foreign capital for U.S. investments and would better insulate the nation from global financial crises, said a report, Another Penny Saved: The Benefits of Higher U.S. Household Saving, from Oxford Economics and sponsored by many organizations, among them LPL Financial, Natixis Global Asset Management, the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries, and AARP.

The study projects the saving rate will fall to 3 percent in the next two decades while 5 percent to 9 percent of GDP is needed for healthy growth, the coalition says.

“The national saving rate has been steadily declining for decades, and if the trend is not reversed, it will have far-reaching consequences for future prosperity,” said Oxford CEO Adrian Cooper.