Policy-makers are gearing up for the tax-reform effort and wondering if retirement vehicles can’t be streamlined and gain more traction from lower incomes. Now might not seem like the time to tinker, but there is a question whether vehicles now are too confusing for people to use. Congress also is looking to raise revenue. Among the proposals: Automatically enroll workers in IRAs, cap retirement-plan contributions at $20,000 a year or 20% of compensation, replace exclusions and deduction for retirement savings with an 18% tax credit. If Congress does alter tax deferrals, Jack VanDerhei, research director at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, says people will not put money away at the rate they currently do. The group’s 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey found one in four would reduce or eliminate retirement contributions if they could no longer be deducted.
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