Pursuing Universal Retirement

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214 Massachusetts Avenue, NE • Washington DC 20002 • (202) 546-4400 • heritage.org

CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY
________________________________________________________________________

Pursuing Universal Retirement Security Through Automatic IRAS and Account Simplification

Testimony before The Committee on Ways and Means United States House of Representatives April 17, 2012
David C. John Senior Research Fellow The Heritage Foundation

I am David C. John, the Senior Research Fellow for Retirement Security and Financial Institutions at The Heritage Foundation. In addition, I am also the Deputy Director of the Retirement Security Project (RSP). The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation or RSP. Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you on ways to increase retirement savings opportunities for all Americans. With the continued decline in the number of Americans covered by employer sponsored defined benefit plans, millions of individuals whose employers don’t offer any way for them to save for retirement at work, and Social Security’s continued financial problems1, it is crucial that the Congress develops a common strategy to expand retirement savings in a manner that transcends ideological and partisan differences. In 2006, a bipartisan majority in Congress eliminated barriers to the use of automatic enrollment and similar automatic techniques in retirement savings plans with the result that millions more Americans are both saving and building retirement security. The results have been stunningly good. With automatic features, enrollment in 401(k)type accounts has grown to average over 80 percent of eligible employees. In addition, every major income, age, racial or ethnic, and gender has shown an increase in…...

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