A Petition to Protect the 401(k)All of these rumblings have led the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries to launch the “Save My 401(k)” online petition, which it also calls “Protect My Piggy.” (I’m no Beltway pundit, but I don’t think using the word “piggy” will be endearing to deficit hawks in D.C.) The website for the grassroots campaign lets you email your concern to your members of Congress.
“We understand Congress needs to reduce the debt and raise revenue, but raiding the tax incentives for 401(k) plans will put American workers’ retirement security at risk,” says Brian Graff, the society’s executive director and chief executive.
2 Tips for Retirement Savers
With retirement plans a likely target, I have two pieces of advice:
1. Invest as much as you can next year in your 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan if you have one. If you can invest in an IRA, do it; the contribution limit for traditional and Roth IRAs in 2013 will be $5,500; $6,500 if you are 50 or older.
2. If you work for an employer with a 401(k) plan that offers advice, pay attention to it.Writing in the Schwab Talk Blog, Catherine Golladay says that a study of employees in plans served by Charles Schwab found that those who follow its 401(k) investment advice save more, are better diversified and are better equipped to handle inevitable fluctuations in the market. Planning for your eventual retirement is tough, so I say: Why not benefit from smart insights from professionals, when they’re there for the taking?
One proposal is to limit 401(k) deductions, including employer contributions is $20,000 or 20% of gross pay whichever is less. Employees should put away as much as possible in 2013.
Please comment or call to discuss other alternatives.