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‘Save My 401(k)’

Posted by Larry Doyle on November 28, 2012 4:46 AM |

No single topic has received as much traffic here at Sense on Cents as commentaries I have run over the last few years regarding the potential takeover of or infringement upon our personal retirement accounts by Uncle Sam.

Well, with the fiscal cliff staring us right in the face and Uncle Sam increasingly squeezed for that do-re-mi, the Old Man would seem to have his eyes right back on those retirement accounts. How so?

The American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries draws attention to this issue with the recent launching of a campaign called ‘Save My 401 (k),

The single most important factor in determining if a worker is saving for retirement is whether or not there is a plan at work. Last time Congress took up tax reform in 1986, employees’ 401(k) plans were cut by 70%, resulting in a mass termination of plans,” said Brian Graff ASPPA’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Save My 401(k) is a grassroots campaign to protect the tax incentives of employer-sponsored retirement plans from the threat of tax reform. The goal is to educate members of Congress and urge them to preserve the 401(k) tax incentives that are the foundation of American worker’s retirement savings.

According to data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) more than 70% of workers earning from $30,000 to $50,000 participate in their employer 401(k) plans, compared with only 5% who save for retirement without a plan at work. Given these plans growing importance—when families have a retirement savings account—those savings represent more than 65% of their financial assets.

“We understand Congress needs to reduce the debt and raise revenue but raiding the tax incentives for 401(k) plans will put American workers’ retirement security at risk. Tens of millions of Americans participate in these retirement plans, and 80% of them earn less than $100,000 per year. This is a battle that American workers simply can’t afford to lose,” said Graff.

Members of the public, retirement plan professionals, employers and ASPPA members are being asked to contact members of Congress to urge them to preserve the retirement savings tax incentives that encourage employers to offer 401(k) plans and employees to utilize them.

ASPPA is also working with its sister organizations—NAPANTSAACIkRACOPA—and other industry partners to encourage American workers to contact their elected representatives in Congress by visiting

Little surprise that those in Washington who have shown themselves incapable of and irresponsible in managing OUR nation’s fiscal affairs now might look to infringe on one of the very few savings incentives of those who are capable and responsible in managing their own personal fiscal affairs.

Forewarned is forearmed. Navigate accordingly.

Related Sense on Cents Commentary
Blueprint for Government Takeover of IRAs, January 11, 2010
Will Uncle Sam Takeover Your IRA? February 19, 2010
Will Uncle Sam Takeover Your IRA? Part II, April 24, 2012

Larry Doyle

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I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own. I am a proponent of real transparency within our markets, our economy, and our political realm so that meaningful investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

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