Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Obama's plans for retirement security come under scrutiny, finally!

Here’s an important piece on MSN, by Marketwatch, “Would Obama’s retirement fixes work?”, a long three page piece, dated Feb. 1 (link).

Obama has specific plans to expand tax credits and indirect matches to retirement savers, and to require all employers to offer what amount to automatic IRA’s. This could be an issue for employers who hire people mainly as independent contractors, temporary workers, or others in the low-wage area. But to some extent Obama’s plans to meet the spirit of GOP plans to encourage individual workers to own their retirement accounts, even to the point of gradually and eventually supplementing or even replacing social security.

Obama would match 50% of the first $1000 of families making up to $65000 and make the tax credit refundable.

Generally, Obama has not been as vocal about retirement and senior issues as he has about health care reform in general.

Large numbers of Americans who could take advantage of matching plans and tax credits today do not.

Obama also wants to regulate 401K management fees, and the behavior of financial advisors when selling annuities or “guaranteed lifetime income” products.

An important bill before the 111th Congress is the 401(k) Fair Disclosure and Pension Security Act of 2009, govtrack reference here, sponsored by Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

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