Gephardt Weighs in with Pension Proposal

February 14, 2002 ( - House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri has proposed creating a national pension system that helps young people start saving with "seed money" and creates portable worker accounts.

Gephardt’s Universal and Portable Pension Act creates a universal retirement savings account open to all Americans that can be moved from job to job. It would include individual tax credits and incentives

The “seed money” would help young people get started not only on retirement savings, but on education costs and the purchase of a first home, Gephardt said in a press release.

“In America today, there are more than 16 different pension programs – all with their own different rules,” Gephardt said in a statement. “Since most workers change jobs a number of times during their working lives, they will end up with several different pension accounts when they retire. This bill makes our pension system truly universal and portable, to follow individuals throughout their lives.”

Under Gephardt proposal, the earnings on worker’s savings will be tax deferred and low-income Americans will be encouraged to save by tax credits for retirement-plan contributions.