The New York Times published an article by reporter Steven Greenhouse, "Should the 401(k) Be Reformed or Replaced?" Greenhouse writes, "Every good retirement system needs to have adequate accumulation for individuals, the money needs to be invested appropriately and the payout needs to meet the needs of retirees for life. Unfortunately, 401(k)'s fail in all three categories." It's inefficient to provide $80 billion in annual tax breaks for 401(k)s, a sum that largely benefits high-income individuals likely to save without a tax incentive.
The article cites my proposal calling for the creation of Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRAs) as gaining support. The plan would require both employee and employer contributions into a federal retirement fund that would earn a 3 percent, inflation-adjusted minimum return pegged to the long-term growth rate of the U.S. economy. Account balances would be converted into annuities that would provide a life-long stream of income in retirement.