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Automatic Savings and Pension Protection Act: Next Steps for Congress

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 represents an important new direction for 401(k) programs. The new law encourages employers to offer automatic enrollment for their workers. With a new Congress planning a new agenda, these systems have even more potential to improve personal savings for American families.

On November 21, the joint Brookings Institution-Georgetown Public Policy Institute Retirement Security Project (RSP) hosted a panel discussion of economic analysts who addressed the next steps for Congress. Participants considered the impact of the new pension law, the mechanics of the Automatic 401(k), and discussed a new paper from RSP that estimates that these and related proposals that would increase net national savings by around $75 billion. The panel also suggested what lawmakers can do to encourage middle- and low-income workers to increase their retirement savings.

Brookings Senior Fellow Peter Orszag, director of the Retirement Security Project, moderated the discussion.



Peter R. Orszag

Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Managing Director, and Global Co-Head of Healthcare - Lazard



Brigitte Madrian

Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management, Harvard Kennedy School

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