UPDATED: May 10, 2010
Last October, we started sounding the alarm bells on a quiet campaign by the unions to nationalize America’s retirement system.
While there’s been some chatter about this over the last few months, the Right Side News has picked up some more details:
There is growing evidence that the Obama Administration wants to adopt ideas being pushed by the AFL-CIO and SEIU to radically change the nation’s private pension system. They want individuals to have less control over and less access to their own retirement savings.
The White House recently released its “Annual Report on the Middle Class” advocating new “retirement options” and imposing new regulations on 401(k) retirement savings.
The plan calls for the creation of something called “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts” (GRAs). (See White House Report, pdf )
The Departments of Labor and Treasury have also jointly issued a “Request for Information” to implement the “annuitization” of 401(k) plans through “Lifetime Income Options.” Their plans also call for an enlarged role over pensions by the Department of Labor.
The impetus for this pension scheme comes from a new group, “Retirement-USA,” founded by the AFL-CIO, SEIU  and a number of labor affiliated organizations. Their plainly stated goal: “The system should be administered by a governmental agency or by private, non-profit institutions that are efficient, transparent, and governed by boards of trustees that include employer, employee, and retiree representatives.”
Other Retirement-USA goals include restricting employees from taking lump sum distributions at retirements, preventing savers from accessing funds before retirement or from stopping remaining pension assets from being left to family members at death.
Given the performance of union managed pension plans, SEIU seems a surprising source of advice on private pensions. [Emphasis added.]
Surprising? Perhaps not, given the SEIU’s success at pushing a government take-over of health care.
UPDATE: Last Monday, 13 House GOP members sent a letter to Secretaries Solis and Geithner (Departments of Labor and Treasury, respectively) opposing the Democrats plan to nationalize the nation’s retirement system. You can read the whole letter here.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.”Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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