Tag: 401k

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 401(k)s Not Working for People?

 

I work as a “retirement plan administrator” and am credentialed as an “expert” in the non-investment-side of 401(k)s and older-style pension plans. As such, my antennae always twitch any time I see a story regarding my industry. This story got me shaking my head at the framing of the issue.

I see companies’ payroll, deferral, and contribution figures every day, so I know that folks are not utilizing their 401(k) plans enough. Such a huge percentage of employees don’t defer anything, while others are deferring only, say, 2 percent; not even enough to earn all of their company’s matching contribution available to them.

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There is now such a thing as an “Automatic Contribution Arrangement” available to most 401(k) plans; essentially, once employees have performed enough service to become eligible to begin deferring (usually 1 year of service, but sometimes less) and are old enough (usually age 21, but can be younger), instead of being given a piece of […]

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This week on Banter, Andrew Biggs joined the show to assess the House Republicans’ recently released Tax Cuts and Jobs Act plan and to debunk the myth of the “retirement crisis.” He also discussed his work on the The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico to develop the island’s economy. In addition to his role on the board, Biggs is a resident scholar at AEI whose work focuses on Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and public-sector pay and benefits. He participated in a seminar at AEI that analyzed the economic prospects of Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria. The link below will take you to the full event video.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Gutting the 401k: The Stupid Party Digs in Its Heels

 

On Sunday, I posted a piece with this title and a slightly different subtitle, observing that the mainstream Republicans seem to have a death wish, drawing attention to the pitiful record of the Republicans in Congress when it came to delivering legislation to the President’s desk, and adding:

And when they come to tax reform, what is their big idea? To cut corporate taxes, which would be a boon, and to make up for the revenue losses that this would entail not by cutting expenditures but by gutting the 401k . The fact that their proposal that tax-free contributions to this retirement-savings vehicle be cut to $2400 a year has Wall Street up in arms bothers me not one whit. It is not the task of the US government to feed the greed of a particular industry.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Gutting the 401k: The Stupid Party Strikes Again

 

There are days when I think that the mainstream Republicans have a death wish. First, after years of promising to repeal and replace Obamacare, when they get a majority in both Houses and a cooperative President, they do nothing. Nothing in that regard, next to nothing in any other regard. A Supreme Court Justice, yes. A handful of Appeals Court judges. Otherwise, niente. It is as if they are happier in the minority than in the majority.

And when they come to tax reform, what is their big idea? To cut corporate taxes, which would be a boon, and to make up for the revenue losses that this would entail not by cutting expenditures but by gutting the 401k . The fact that their proposal that tax-free contributions to this retirement-savings vehicle be cut to $2400 a year has Wall Street up in arms bothers me not one whit. It is not the task of the US government to feed the greed of a particular industry.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Cartels and Concierge Bureaucracy Management

 

Several years ago I heard an amusing story on NPR’s Planet Money program. The story described an Indian entrepreneur who, frustrated with India’s local political corruption and red tape, started a new business: Concierge Bribery. For a fee, he would seek out and pay off all of the sundry local officials whenever a local business needed something done. I thought how lucky we were that America had not yet descended to that level. I was deeply wrong. We, in fact, have had concierge bureaucracy managers for some time.

While it is generally a good maxim to never ascribe to mendacity that which can be explained by incompetence, normal logic seems rarely to apply to any of the corruption and rot stemming from Obamacare (and for the record, I refuse to call it “The Affordable Care Act”, or ACA). The act seems explicitly designed, among other things, as a tool to force a cartelization of the entire medical industry. We see this in the rapid demise of independent practices, as they close up shop and merge into large provider networks — effectively regional medical cartels. What we are not yet seeing, or rather noticing, on any scale is the very similar effect Obamacare (when coupled with the many other business strictures in place) is having on general employment itself.