Pew Trusts Award Retirement Savings Grant

December 10, 2004 ( - The Pew Charitable Trusts has announced a $3.8-million, two-year grant to support efforts that would encourage employers to automatically enroll employees in 401(k) plans among other initiatives.

The Philadelphia-based Pew said the grant to the Retirement Security Project “will promote policies that can gain broad public and private-sector support to raise participation rates in 401(k)-type plans, strengthen retirement savings tax incentives and create new avenues for savings,” according to a news release.

The project will also collaborate with a variety of groups including seniors, minority and women’s organizations. Business groups will be “key” partners, Pew said.

Pew said the project will focus on four policy options including:

  • automatic k plan enrollment “which dramatically increases participation in these retirement savings vehicles.”
  • enabling a portion of tax refunds to be deposited directly into retirement savings accounts.
  • strengthening the “Saver’s Credit,” enacted in 2001 and currently scheduled to expire in 2006.
  • promoting low-cost IRAs with low contribution requirements and administrative fees aimed at “modest-income” Americans.

“Most Americans say they are worried about not having enough money for retirement – and for good reason,” said Rebecca Rimel, president and chief executive officer of The Pew Charitable Trusts, in the announcement “America’s baby boom generation will soon begin retiring and the vast majority has little or no ‘nest egg.’ While Medicare and Social Security reform is hotly debated, there is broad consensus that Americans simply don’t have enough personal savings to ensure safe and healthy retirements.”

The project’s advisory board includes economists, policy experts and legal scholars, Pew said. The project is a partnership with Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and directed by Peter Orszag, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

More information about Pew is at .