Think Tank Proposes Changes to IRAs, 401(k)s


Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and 401(k)s are very popular, because they offer significant tax advantages. But most assets held in those accounts are vulnerable to significant fluctuations in value.

The Center for American Progress (CAP), a nonpartisan think tank, has an idea of how to change the way these accounts work. CAP’s proposal would have workers receive guaranteed payments for life. It would also relieve employers of the burden of management costs and fiduciary responsibilities.

The retirement plans that CAP proposes would be organized as nonprofit legal entities run by independent boards that contract with investment firms. They would pool contributions to command lower fees and thus higher returns. Taxes would not pay for any of the plans’ operating expenses.

An independent analysis showed the plans would require significantly lower contributions than an IRA in order to achieve a given payout.

IRAs and 401(k)s are a big business that will not be revamped overnight, but fresh ideas are needed. Many current and future retirees will not have the post-retirement income security they need. Estate planning is crucial to protect your future.