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Don’t Have A Retirement Plan? How GOP, Wall Street Are Hurting You

Don’t Have a Retirement Plan? How GOP, Wall Street Are Hurting You

Don’t Let Student Loans Derail Retirement

I’m always perplexed at why Congress doesn’t make it easier for people to save for retirement. Most of Europe makes it easy. Australia has a mandatory savings plan.

Yet the richest country on earth can’t provide retirement security for most Americans. There’s a stealth war on retirement savings and Wall Street is behind it.

This is neither paranoia nor is it a partisan statement. Wall Street has long coveted privatizing Social Security funds because it can charge outrageous fees on private accounts. That’s pretty much what many big banks, brokers and insurers have done to 401(k)s, which were never meant to be mainstream retirement plans.

Lately, the GOP has been attacking the idea of states setting up retirement plans for small business, most of which offer no retirement options. The Senate majority recently voted against a plan to provide state-sponsored small-business retirement programs. President Trump is expected to sign this giant leap backward of a bill.

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It’s not that these “work and save” plans were bad ideas: Some 55 million American workers have no workplace retirement plan at all.

The U.S. is the only modern, industrialized country without a uniform national pension system. Although there are dozens of retirement vehicles — IRAs, 401ks, 403bs, SEP-IRAs, etc. — employers are not required by law to offer any of them, nor are they required to fund them. It’s such a scattershot approach that it should be a national embarrassment.

“The Department of Labor last year issued guidance that would allow cities and states to set up `work and save’ plans without worrying they would run afoul of federal pension laws,” notes the AARP in a recent statement.

“The House of Representatives voted this year to get rid of the guidance, and last month the Senate narrowly agreed to roll back the one pertaining to cities. In the next vote, senators will decide whether to scrap the part affecting states.

Research shows that workers with modest incomes are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they can do so automatically

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