Op-eds and Articles

The Hill: Universal Pensions: A Progressive Alternative to Retirement

By / 5.25.2016

In the midst of the chaos of this election cycle, some important themes are emerging. In particular, voters are highly worried about retirement security. Indeed, 91 percent of voters in four swing states agree that most Americans are not prepared for retirement. That’s according to a poll by the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), in partnership with veteran Democratic pollster Peter Brodntiz.

That’s why it’s time for a Universal Pension system that would help all U.S. workers save for retirement by eliminating the need to navigate the maze of tax-favored retirement plans, and making their job-based pensions portable. Specifically, the UP would reduce today’s welter of tax-favored retirement accounts into one universal IRA account (with a choice between a traditional or Roth-style IRA).

The accounts would be managed by private firms, under the supervision of the individual rather than the employer, giving workers more control over their investment choices. Furthermore, when workers switch jobs, they can rollover their existing 401(k) or other company pension plans into their Universal Pension reducing paperwork burdens and financial fees for both employers and employees.

And by helping all workers start saving for retirement from their very first day of work, the Universal Pension would harness the power of compound interest for everyone. It would help to close a yawning wealth gap at a time when wealth inequality is roughly 10 times wider than income inequality.

Continue reading at The Hill.