Your Retirement Account Looks Delicious

Here’s one way to solve the national debt problem: re-write the rules governing private retirement plans like the 401k.   

They’re thinking about it. From the Washington Times:

The $19.4 trillion sitting in personal retirement accounts like the 401K may be too tempting an apple for a government that is quite broke, both monetarily and morally.  The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray recently mentioned these accounts in a recent interview, stating “That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in, in terms of whether and what authority we have.”

This is how they’re going to proceed: with bureaucratic regulations and rule-writing. They won’t take the money, of course. They’d just regulate it for safety:

If the government takes control of retirement accounts, it will not be called “nationalization.” There will most likely be an indecipherable document that provides an opt-out option (initially), but why would you want to do that? The US government only wants to ensure the safety of your retirement funds; they did after all create a new bureaucracy for that specific purpose.  And what could be a safer investment than US bonds?

It would go like this: the government is going to protect you from yourself and your bad investments by forcing you to invest your retirement money in the brokest nation in history. In return, the government will take your cash and pay down the national debt, free up some extra money for “investments” in whatever it is that Barack Obama wants to invest in (with your retirement money) and wrap it all up in guise of “protecting” the consumer from scams.

Although a bigger, more dishonest, more predatory scam than this simply cannot be imagined.

  1. WI Con

    There’s been alot of talk on the right about event would produce that ‘spark’ for a major show-down/shake-up.

    This sure looks like one to me. God help us all is these fools actually try this.

  2. C. U. Douglas

    I’ve been watching reporsts such as these like a hawk.  I’ve not a lot in retirement, but I still would rather take the hit in penalties and taxes rather than suffer a government theft of my hard-earned retirement.

    Just sayin’.

  3. Valiuth
    C. U. Douglas: I’ve been watching reporsts such as these like a hawk.  I’ve not a lot in retirement, but I still would rather take the hit in penalties and taxes rather than suffer a government theft of my hard-earned retirement.

    Just sayin’. · 0 minutes ago

    Oh you may suffer the penalties and still have your money taken into the safe keeping of the government. After all it’s not like you are doing anything with it. 

  4. Tran Quil
    C. U. Douglas: .. I still would rather take the hit in penalties and taxes rather than suffer a government theft of my hard-earned retirement.

    Just sayin’. · 7 minutes ago

    Ditto.

  5. Shane McGuire

    This should be preceded by a regulation requiring 401ks to be offered by any employer with more than 20 employees, and a regulation requiring the matching of any funds up to 5% of income deposited into such accounts.

    18 months later, there is a crash in the stock market. Perhaps due to disruption of oil supplies in Iran or Iraq.

    Big Oil execs with Anglo surnames will be frog-marched to Washington to explain this hiccup in the economy.

    Then a terrorist attack causes more stock tankage.

    Then, the government, no longer able to ignore the crisis, uses the takings clause to take all 401ks, and the just compensation is a guaranteed crappy standard of living in retirement.

    Or, if that last part’s too farfetched, there will be a mandate that all 401k accounts be given to the government, and if the holder of the account refuses, he is taxed an amount equal to 120% of the account, to be paid out over 3 years. No promise for just compensation necessary. It’s a tax!

  6. smp16

    As a young professional, I have very little in my 401k. I was considering adding more until I started to hear these rumblings. Now I’m not so sure.

  7. Barkha Herman

    Cradle to grave, baby!

  8. mask

    I’m not worried.  The government has done a great job managing social security. /sarcasm

    Any avid reader of Thomas Sowell already knows that the government has already attacked your retirement investments: inflationary policies.

  9. Astonishing

    No problem. I’ll just cash out my 401k, change my name to Julia Hernandez, renounce my US citizenship, apply for amnesty, and sign up for Obamacare.

  10. C. U. Douglas
    Valiuth

    C. U. Douglas: I’ve been watching reporsts such as these like a hawk.  I’ve not a lot in retirement, but I still would rather take the hit in penalties and taxes rather than suffer a government theft of my hard-earned retirement.

    Just sayin’. · 0 minutes ago

    Oh you may suffer the penalties and still have your money taken into the safe keeping of the government. After all it’s not like you are doing anything with it.  · 22 minutes ago

    Aye, there’s the rub …

  11. HeartofAmerica

    Maybe I should go ahead and take retirement and then roll my meager 401K into something safe like a shoe box under the bed.

    Just as a point of education for myself…what type of savings/401K do members of Congress and government employees have? I ask because I want to ensure that their funds are used first.

  12. Vance Richards

    Since much of the money in 401k’s is currently invested in stocks and stock funds, taking the bulk of that money out would cause a huge drop in stock prices. So, opting out might not be much of an option either. Please tell me is another conspiracy theory post.

  13. Bob Laing

    I don’t want to sound like a “hoard guns and gold” reactionary, but having some assets off the grid is a prudent maneuver.  Precious metals are, arguably, a better store of purchasing power than any other asset on the planet and, as an added bonus, capital gains taxes are harder to collect when you sell physical metals to vendors.

  14. Paul A. Rahe
    C

    Back before 2008, when W. was President and the Democrats held the House, Nancy Pelosi’s minions held hearings about confiscating our 401k’s.

  15. KayBee

    I’m wondering if the money I have in my IRA would fit inside my mattress (along with my guns and high-capacity magazines).  I’m sure the federal government would be happy to advise me on the matter.  Except that I’d probably go to jail because I removed my mattress tag.

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  16. Kozak

    This, and gun confiscation are my lines in the sand.Also everyone should investigate the option of a self directed IRA. This puts the money in YOUR hands. Make THEM come and get it when the time comes.

  17. Casey Taylor
    HeartofAmerica: Maybe I should go ahead and take retirement and then roll my meager 401K into something safe like a shoe box under the bed.

    Just as a point of education for myself…what type of savings/401K do members of Congress and government employees have? I ask because I want to ensure that their funds are used first. · 43 minutes ago

    Edited 41 minutes ago

    They utilize the Federal Thrift Savings Plan.

    Seriously, that’s the name of it.

  18. Kevin

    If they’re talking about 401ks, then IRA’s can’t be that far behind.  ‘Specially when the feds “unexpectedly” end up w/ less money than they were expecting from the 401ks.

    Damn, it’s stories like this that push me more toward moving back to TX and investing in gold, lead and tin.

  19. Bob Laing
    Western Chauvinist

    Robert: I don’t want to sound like a “hoard guns and gold” reactionary, but having some assets off the grid is a prudent maneuver.  Precious metals are, arguably, a better store of purchasing power than any other asset on the planet and, as an added bonus, capital gains taxes are harder to collect when you sell physical metals to vendors. 

    You can’t eat or shoot gold. As my brother’s tag line goes, Buy More Guns and Ammo (BMGAA). Bullets can be used in a currency exchange, either in the active or passive form. · 15 minutes ago

    I don’t disagree with you at all.  The guns and ammo are very good things to keep in ample supply.  The precious metals are just slightly easier to liquidate in the event we don’t end up in a dystopian future.