Sunday, September 25, 2016
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Writing for Fedsmith.com, Brenton Smith writes that
Expanding Social Security has become a dividing line in many Congressional races where supporters want to create a visible separation with the GOP which largely offers nothing but benefit cuts far in the distant future.
Unfortunately for Americans who are excited about Social Security expansion, there’s less in it for many of them that it seems. Read the whole article here.Read more!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Friday, September 9, 2016
New paper: “What’s Happening with Retirement Saving and Retirement Incomes? Better Data Tell a Better Story”
New paper: “What’s Happening with Retirement Saving and Retirement Incomes? Better Data Tell a Better Story,” by Andrew G. Biggs, American Enterprise Institute.
- Americans are doing a much better job of saving for retirement than is commonly supposed. Despite claims of declining retirement-plan coverage, more Americans have retirement plans today than in the so-called golden age of traditional defined benefit pensions, and new 401(k) rules make today’s workers much more likely to receive benefits once they retire.
- Contributions to retirement plans are at record levels compared to the past. Contrary to claims that employers have abandoned retirement saving, employer contributions to retirement plans are also at a historical peak.
- The policy debate over retirement security ignores much of the best data and research available. While better information does not erase the challenges we face in improving our diverse retirement-saving system, it can help inform the debate.
Click here to read the whole paper.Read more!
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has released a new Issue in Brief:
“Can We Increase Retirement Saving?”
by Steven A. Sass
The brief’s key findings are:
- Today’s workers must save on their own for a secure retirement, so researchers have examined existing options for encouraging them.
- Tax incentives: recent research suggests that increasing the generosity of tax incentives for 401(k)s and IRAs would not significantly increase saving.
- 401(k) design: auto-enrollment has boosted participation, but, to date, low default contribution rates and little auto-escalation have dampened the rise in saving.
- Auto-IRAs: recently adopted by some states, they would require employers without a plan to enroll their workers in an IRA, with the ability to opt out.
William G. Gale, Senior Fellow and Director, Retirement Security Project, The Brookings Institution
Panel one: Retirement plans for contingent workers
Presenter: David C. John, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP Public Policy Institute and Deputy Director, Retirement Security Project
Discussant: Ida Rademacher, Executive Director of the Financial Security Program, Aspen Institute
Discussant: Seth Harris, Distinguished Scholar, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University
Moderator: Deborah Whitman, Executive Vice President and Chief Public Policy Officer, AARP
Panel two: Guaranteed returns in retirement savings accounts
Presenter: William G. Gale, Senior Fellow and Director, Retirement Security Project, The Brookings Institution
Discussant: Andrew Biggs, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
Discussant: Olivia Mitchell, International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Professor, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
Moderator: Joshua Gotbaum, Guest Scholar, Economic Studies, The Brookings Institution
Monday, September 5, 2016
INVITATION MAKING IT EASIER TO SAVE
Publicly Sponsored Private Retirement Savings Programs
DOL Rules: Options, Opportunities and Challenges
Monday, September 12, 2016
10:00 AM - Noon
Washington Court Hotel
525 New Jersey Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
Eight states – California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington – have passed legislation to establish retirement savings arrangements for private sectors workers who currently lack access to plans through their employers.
On August 25, 2016, the White House and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule to allow states to create their own programs and issued a new proposed rule that would allow some larger cities to also establish such programs.
Please join us for a discussion of the opportunities, challenges and outlook for the future for publicly sponsored private retirement savings programs. Please register here or use the red button below.
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Expanding Access: A Discussion of the Path Forward
The Honorable Phyllis Borzi, Assistant Secretary, Employee
Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor
Moderated by: Michael Kreps, Principal, Groom Law Group
11:00 AM - Noon Perspectives on Options, Opportunities and
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Former Lt. Governor of Maryland
and Member of the Maryland Commission on Retirement
Security and Savings
John Adler, Director, Mayor’s Office of Pensions and
Investments, New York City
Julian Federle, Chief Policy and Programs Officer, Office of
the State Treasurer, Illinois
Steve Hill, Director of Retirement Security Campaigns, Service
Employees International Union
Richard Mourdock, Former Treasurer, State of Indiana
Moderated by: Angela Antonelli, Executive Director,
Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives
This paper summarizes discussion on new ways to reduce retirement plan “leakage,” presented at the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 78th policy forum in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2016.
A recurring issue with defined contribution (DC) savings plans such as the 401(k) is the risk of “leakage” -- pre-retirement reductions in plan savings by workers, either through loans, hardship withdrawals, or payouts at job change. There have been widely varying estimates of how big of a problem leakage actually is, and what the potential reactions may be by both retirement plan sponsors and participants if new pre-retirement access restrictions were imposed. For instance, for many workers the option of being able to take a loan from their 401(k) account is seen as a major incentive for them to participate. A 2014 analysis by EBRI found that approximately two-thirds of the impact of diminished retirement savings due to leakage was associated with the cashouts that sometimes occur at job change. Others have pointed out that 401(k) loans, which sometimes are criticized as a significant source of retirement savings leakage, actually account for the smallest amount of pre-retirement savings loss.
To highlight new work on leakage, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) devoted part of its 78th policy forum to the topic of “Retirement Challenges and Reforms,” focusing in particular on “Reducing Leakage and Incubating Savings.” The May 12 event in Washington, DC, brought together about a hundred benefits-related experts to discuss a variety of retirement and health topics. The leakage-focused session involved the presentation of a simulation model by the Retirement Clearinghouse (RCH) concerning outcomes of “Auto Portability,” or automated and presumptive plan-to-IRA and plan-to-plan transfers of retirement savings as workers change jobs. Based on research and actual experience with employers, RCH has developed a fairly simple engagement model with both incoming and departing employees -- aimed in particular at those with small 401(k) balances ($5,000 or less, which collectively amount to about $8.8 billion a year) -- that would apply both a pro-rollover/transfer presumption and a near-automatic process that, together, is projected to reduce retirement plan leakage by 50 percent. It was noted that “Auto Portability” has an opt-out mechanism so that individuals can opt out if they need the money.Read more!