retirement crisisToday I joined the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) as it launched its Personal Savings Initiative (PSI). As a member of the commission, we will study whether savings rates and available savings vehicles are meeting the retirement goals of Americans and the nation's investment needs.

The initiative is co-chaired by former Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, a Democrat, and Jim Lockhart, former Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration under President George W. Bush.

Accoring to Forbes' coverage of the launch announcement, "Lockhart cited a recent Gallup poll that found that not having enough money for retirement is the top financial worry among middle-aged Americans. Then he recapped some sobering retirement statistics to show why the issue is so important and why Congress should take it up."

The initiative will address important financial security issues, including, but not limited to:

  • The impact of federal policies on private savings.
  • The finances and operation of Social Security Disability Insurance and its interaction with private disability insurance.
  • Interaction of Social Security with personal savings, especially those in tax-advantaged retirement savings vehicles.
  • The impact of long-term care needs on retirement security.
  • The role of homeownership and student debt.

During 2014, the PSI will hold roundtables and issue a series of white papers highlighting challenges related to retirement savings, defined contribution accounts, annuities, Social Security Disability Insurance, and the intersection among housing, higher-education debt, and savings. The commission will develop a set of policy recommendations and model their impact on personal savings, retirement readiness, the macro economy and the federal budget to be presented in a final report in early 2015.