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.