In a bid to urge more Americans to start saving for retirement, Democrats are preparing a proposal to automatically set up new workers with Individual Retirement Accounts. The policy would only apply to workers at businesses that don't offer 401(k) retirement plans, and employees would be able to opt out. The AARP's Cristina Martin Firvida supports the plan, saying it will help overcome "this inertia that keeps people from taking advantage of saving opportunities." But should the government be pushing people to plan for retirement?

Anything that builds retirement savings is worth considering: Auto-IRA plans might seem like a lot of trouble for little benefit, says Dallas Salisbury of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, as quoted in Investment News. But even if an additional 10 million Americans "are building savings in a changed IRA system," it will boost economic security. This proposal won't solve the retirement crisis, but every little bit helps.
"Automatic IRAs would help retirement security, says Treasury's Iwry"

The government has no business hijacking our paychecks: First President Obama and the Democrats took the liberty of forcing people to buy health insurance, says David C. White at The Political Class, and now they want to force people to contribute to retirement plans? Don't forget, the federal government already takes 7.5 percent of your salary for Social Security, and now Democrats want "even more for an IRA." This "boondoggle" is about feeding "the ever growing blob of federal bureaucracy," not helping retirees.
"Democrats and AARP want to make IRA enrollment automatic"

Automatic saving has been tested, and it works: The bottom line is Americans aren't prepared for retirement, says Walter Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times. Even 13 percent of the wealthy are at risk of running out of savings within 20 years of their last day on the job. "On the bright side," the percentage of early baby boomers in danger of depleting their savings in retirement has fallen from 59 percent in 2003 to 47 percent today, and much of that improvement came thanks to automatic enrollment and other improvement in many companies' 401(k)s. The effectiveness of automatic saving is "what passes for good news in the retirement game these days."
"Even the wealthy can't count on their retirement years being golden"