In July, Bloomberg’s Businessweek issued a special report focused on financing retirement. They invited me to include a description of my proposal for Guaranteed Retirement Accounts.

Here’s an excerpt of the problem:

Over the past 30 years, workplace pensions have morphed from defined-benefit plans (in which the company pays retirees a set amount every month from retirement to death) into defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)s, which are primarily funded by deductions from salaries. In a perfect world, an average worker could amass something like $400,000 in a 401(k) by retirement. After nearly three decades of 401(k) contributions, though, the average account balance for people nearing retirement age is about $60,000, far less than what's needed. So it's no surprise that when a recent Gallup poll asked what Americans want most from government, more chose guaranteed pensions than guaranteed jobs or health care.