Monday, August 25, 2008

Upcoming event: Is it time for the U.S. to engage in real pension reform?

The Urban Institute and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

8:45-10:30 a.m. ET

Despite decades of significant tax subsidies for pensions and retirement accounts, most Americans retire with little or no pension saving. Washington will give out more than $750 billion in tax subsidies for pension plans between 2007 and 2011, and, yet, many low- to middle-income families lack the financial assets needed to afford retirement. 

The United Kingdom moved boldly this year to reform its private pension system by encouraging significantly greater accumulation of pension assets and protections in old age. A new Urban Institute paper ( details a "Super Simple" saving plan that would provide a basic, low-cost, easily administrable scheme that could boost the retirement assets of low- and middle-income individuals. "Super Simple"—the most substantive reform since the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974—resembles the U.K. reform, but puts the changes, such as streamlining today's multiple 401(k)-type plans through a design attractive to employers and employees alike, within a U.S. context.

Join the discussion as our panel of experts explores

  • Why has America's piecemeal approach to pension reform largely failed?
  • Is radical structural change a must?
  • What can the U.S. learn from Britain's pension history?
  • What would be the building blocks of a U.S. pension system that could complement changes to Social Security?


  • Janet Novack, Washington bureau chief, Forbes magazine (moderator)
  • Pamela Perun, affiliated scholar, Urban Institute, and policy director, Initiative on Financial Security, Aspen Institute
  • Caroline Rookes, director of private pensions, United Kingdom's Department for Work and Pensions
  • Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO, Employee Benefit Research Institute
  • Eugene Steuerle, vice president, Peter G. Peterson Foundation; former senior fellow,
    Urban Institute

To attend, RSVP at,

e-mail, or call (202) 261-5709.

At the Urban Institute

2100 M Street N.W., 5th Floor, Washington, D.C.

Light breakfast will be provided at 8:30 a.m. The forum begins promptly at 8:45 a.m.

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