The Role of Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans and National Saving

Testimony

The Role of Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans and National Saving

Testimony before the Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate
April 12, 2005

Abstract

The evidence that retirement and pension incentives have done much recently for national saving is weak. Total personal saving in the United States is now below the annual revenues spent in supporting retirement and pension plans. One major reason is that all government subsidies are for deposits, not saving. A second is the extraordinary complexity of the laws. Yet another negative influence on saving is that most people now retire in late middle age. Finally, the incentives provided to low- and moderate-income households often are also fairly small and sometimes nonexistent. This testimony discusses various ways to try to deal with these issues.

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