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  • The Hill Misses the Story on Auto IRAs

    An article on the Automatic IRA in the July 13 edition of the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill (“Democrats and AARP want to make IRA enrollment automatic”) left out several crucial parts of the story.

    First and foremost, the Automatic IRA has enjoyed wide bipartisan and cross-ideological support since it was first unveiled at The Heritage Foundation in February 2006. This is not, as the story implied, some partisan initiative. It was co-developed by Mark Iwry, then at Brookings, and me as part of the Retirement Security Project. It was endorsed by both the McCain and Obama campaigns during the 2008 campaign. This broad support continues.

    The Automatic IRA is designed to provide a simple, low-cost way for American workers who don’t have access to a 401(k)-type plan to save for retirement. By combining the automatic enrollment technique that has been adopted by most larger 401(k) plans with the IRA that workers have known for decades, we hope to enable new savers to build retirement security while giving older savers who may have had a 401(k) at another employer the ability to continue to increase their savings.

    Studies show that small business employees want the Automatic IRA, and as they learn more about the proposal, employers do also. In past Congresses, the proposal had bipartisan co-sponsorship, and that level of support is possible this year also. In addition to the AARP’s support, the Automatic IRA has also been endorsed by a number of small business groups, including the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the National Alliance of African-American Chambers of Commerce, Women Impacting Public Policy, and the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.

    In short, the Automatic IRA is not part of a narrow partisan agenda, as The Hill’s flawed article implied. Rather, it is a broad–based, cross-ideological effort to improve Americans’ retirement security.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to The Hill Misses the Story on Auto IRAs

    1. Eric Magnuson says:

      "Rather, it is a broad–based, cross-ideological effort to improve Americans’ retirement security."

      Actually, no it is not. It is a nanny state policy and broad overreach. So people will have money automatically taken from their paycheck unless they object because you unilaterally think it is what they Ought to do, presumably because they are not wise enough to do it themselves. Let's put that out in the open….plan does not sound appealing then does it?

      I am surprised and disappointed Heritage mistakenly chooses to associate itself with a policy which is the province of the Center for American Progress.

    2. Pingback: Hill Ignores Bipartisanship of Automatic IRAs | National Review Institute Blog

    3. Douglas Wilson, Irvi says:

      There is nothing to consider before converting to a Roth IRA. I thought there were certain things to assess before converting just like everyone else; but after I read The Gospel of Roth by John Bledsoe, it was clear that I should convert. The book completely contradicts what I had been reading off every news site and explains how converting as soon as you can is the best option. Because you don't have to decide whether you want to keep it as a Roth IRA or convert it back to a regular IRA until October 17th, 2011, converting now is like having a free look at the future. If it proves better to convert, then you already converted. If you should have left it as an IRA to save taxes, then convert it back free of penalty. The Gospel of Roth is easy to read and straight forward, and practically made my decision for me.

    4. Ron Holland says:

      Although the automatic IRA is touted as a way for Americans to build better retirement security, actually it is a bone thrown to the profits of AARP and other related financial service providers in exchange for a longer range plan by the Washington politicians to further tax, confiscate and force a portion of retirement assets into buying US Treasury securities.

      See The Coming Obama Retirement Trap at

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