Survey results from the Washington, D.C.-based Coalition to Protect Retirement reveal Americans, by a margin of 4 to 1, oppose such changes. The research shows widespread support across political parties for maintaining the current tax treatment for retirement savings vehicles such as 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and traditional individual retirement accounts or IRAs.
Eighty-seven percent of respondents, and 95% of those who have a 401(k)-like retirement plan account, believe retirement savings should be off limits to Congress and excluded as a source of new revenue for the government.
“Retirement savings incentives play an essential role in encouraging Americans to save and employers to sponsor retirement plans,” says Hank Jackson, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, on behalf of the coalition. “This isn’t just smart tax policy. It’s proven good sense.”
The survey results indicate current tax incentives have benefitted individuals at all income levels, particularly middle-income earners. More than 70% of those earning between $30,000 and $50,000 per year contribute to a retirement savings plan when one is offered at work.
“Raising new revenue should not come at the expense of Americans’ retirement savings, not now or in the future,” says Brian Graff, CEO and executive director of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA). “If Congress reduces the benefits of offering and contributing to retirement savings, fewer people will save. The result will be more of tomorrow’s retirees needing to turn to the government for help and that will mean more federal spending.”
The Coalition to Protect Retirement is composed of the following associations: American Benefits Council, American Council of Life Insurers, American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries, The ERISA Industry Committee, ESOP Association, Insured Retirement Institute, Investment Company Institute, Plan Sponsor Council of America, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and the Society for Human Resource Management. More information about the coalition can be found here.
The survey was conducted online by Juncture Strategies/ORC International, on behalf of the coalition, between October 14 and 16. More than 1,000 adults, 18 years of age or older, were queried.
The survey results can be found here.