Yet Another Start

The House has passed—by 414-5—a bill that markedly improves Americans’ 401(k) retirement plans that are offered by most employers. If also passed by the Senate and signed into law by the President (or passed anew over a President’s veto) the bill would

  • raise the age at which retirees must start taking money out of their Plans, over the next decade, to 75
  • allow older workers to make bigger contributions: the current “catch up” contributions of $6,500/yr for those older than 50 would rise to $10,000/yr for people ages 62, 63, and 64
  • the extra $1,000 people 50 and older can contribute annually to an IRA would become indexed to inflation

These are important moves. However, there are no reasons in logic or economics for those age or contribution limits. Folks should be able to contribute as much as they want to their retirement plans, whenever they want, at any age, and regardless of income.

They should be able to delay making withdrawals for as long as they wish—and not be required to continue making withdrawals once they start. Retirement withdrawals should be in the amounts and at the times the retiree deems useful, not when Government dictates them.

The benefits of such finishing touches are readily apparent. The more we’re allowed to save during our working years for our retirement, the less dependent we’ll be on increasingly fragile government retirement programs like Social Security and Medicare when we do retire.

The more retirees have for their own retirement resources, the less stress retirees will impose on those government programs, which can only reduce their fragility.

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