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Volume 9 Issue 2 - May 2008

AARP Solutions Forum Held in D.C.

On April 29, the AARP Public Policy Institute held the first in a series of policy forums designed to open dialogue on timely and important policy matters. The forum, entitled “Promoting Individual Retirement Saving,” invited three speakers from across the political spectrum to briefly describe their proposals aimed at encouraging Americans to save for retirement.  Over 100 people attended from a broad range of organizations, including the MRRC, and various government agencies.  J. Mark Iwry of the Brookings Institution and the Retirement Security Project moderated the panel.  Janet McCubbin who is Director of Economic Issues for the AARP Public Policy Institute and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute both served as discussants.

Teresa Ghilarducci of the New School for Social Research discussed her proposal for Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs).  Under her plan, most employers and workers would be required to contribute, contributions would be subsidized, returns would be guaranteed, and the investment funds would be managed by the federal government.

Next, Gene Sperling of the Center for American Progress proposed a plan for the creation of a universal 401(k) that would ensure all Americans have access to a retirement savings plan. Features of his plan included progressive matching of contributions by the federal government, tax incentives, and automatic enrollment.

Finally, David C. John of the Heritage Foundation and the Retirement Security Project discussed his and J. Mark Iwry’s plan for implementing a set of initiatives for expanding retirement saving.  Their “automatic IRA” plan increases individual saving by making participation the default option and taking advantage of existing payroll deduction systems. 

Visit the Public Policy Institute’s website for more information. http://www.aarp.org/research/ppi/policylive.html