A Smarter Plan to Make Retirement Savings Last

LAST month, President Obama inaugurated yet another way to encourage Americans to save for retirement. In the new myRA accounts, workers can save up to $15,000 in a low-fee investment plan that, like a government savings bond, guarantees the principal. The accounts are a small step toward helping households save, but they are not an effective solution to the coming retirement crisis.

Starting in 2020, the numbers of very low-income elderly will rise sharply as the retired population soars to almost 56 million. More middle-class working Americans will be poor or near poor after they reach the age of 65. Most currently have inadequate 401(k)-type accounts or no retirement account at all. For good reason, voters tell pollsters that their top economic concern is retirement security.

We need a bolder plan, which we are calling the guaranteed retirement account (G.R.A.). Under our proposal, all workers and employers will have to make regular payments into a G.R.A., which builds until retirement age, then pays out a supplemental stream of income until that person and his or her beneficiary die.

– The New York Times

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