Special Report: Next Step: Single Payer Retirement Plans?

Posted on August 27, 2009. Filed under: Enemies of The State, General Info, Soapbox | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NEXT STOP- SINGLE PAYER RETIREMENT PLAN ?:
 
Inch by inch, program by program, citizen by citizen the government is hell bent on controlling every aspect of our life. The next example was given sunlight by CNS News: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/53157
 
The Government Accountability Office – the investigative arm of Congress – has laid some of the groundwork for pension reform by publishing a study of the “retirement risks” posed by private pension plans in the United States. “Many experts agree reforms are needed to make the U.S. private pension system more effective in protecting workers from risks to accumulating and preserving adequate savings for retirement,” says the GAO report. “If no action is taken, a considerable number of Americans face the prospect of a reduced standard of living in retirement.” The July 2009 report is addressed to Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. Miller is an advocate of “retirement security.” As part of its study, the GAO examined the pension systems of the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and found that private pensions in those countries “represent alternative approaches” that could “yield useful lessons for the U.S. experience.” The GAO also examined four “key” domestic proposals to reform the U.S. private pension system – including a government-sponsored, mandatory system called the Guaranteed Retirement Accounts (GRA) plan. Under this plan, the federal government (Social Security Administration) would establish and administer a system of retirement savings accounts – guaranteeing a specified rate of return on those accounts. Currently, pension plans offered by private employers in the United States are voluntary and include tax incentives to encourage participation. 

READ THE REPORT YOURSELF:  Released August 24, 2009  http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/pastweek.html
Private Pensions: Alternative Approaches Could Address Retirement Risks Faced by Workers but Pose Trade-offs GAO-09-642, July 24, 2009
Commentary for the report was given by Dept of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Dept of Treausury Secretary Timothy Geitner. The report was done for the Education and Labor Dept headed by Democratic Congressman George Miller of California. It is estimated Congressman Miller votes with his party 98% of the time. Miller is a far-left Democrat according to GovTrack’s own analysis of bill sponsorship.  Key legislation he has sponsored is Employee Free Choice Act (card check), and co-sponsored HR 3200 as well as HR 2483 to permanently increase the conforming loan limits for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and the Federal National Mortgage Association and the FHA maximum mortgage amount limitations. For other legislation he sponsored or co-sponsored, or to see how he voted on other issues: http://www.opencongress.org/people/bills/400278_George_Miller#sponsored
According to the report:
This report addresses the following questions: (1) What are key risks faced by U.S. workers in accumulating and preserving pension benefits? (2) What approaches are used in other countries that could address these risks and what trade-offs do they present? (3) What approaches do key proposals for alternative plan designs in the U.S. suggest to mitigate risks faced by workers and what trade-offs do they entail? To complete this work, we reviewed research on defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and interviewed pension consulting firms, industry experts, academics, and other relevant organizations in the U.S. and abroad. In addition, we used a microsimulation model to assess the impact of certain strategies to increase pension coverage on accumulated benefits. The Department of Labor and Department of Treasury provided technical comments on this report.

The report also states:

Key legal and administrative changes required by this plan include establishing and administering a system of retirement accounts by the federal government, information sharing by state and local governments, and reducing the current preferential tax treatment of DC plans, such as 401(k) plans (see app. III). Two additional proposals focus specifically on addressing risks associated with retirees’ drawdown of lump-sum benefits by presenting options for increasing the use of annuities as a way to pay out benefits accumulated in DC plans.

Table 11 on page 44 of the 77 page document, illustrates the GRA Plan’s Approaches to Coverage, Contributions, Investments and the Drawdown of Beneifits in Retirement.  For instance, under the Worker column it shows that that those who are not covered by an equal or better employered sponsored plan MUST participate. Workers who are self employed, indepedent contractors, or not covered by their employers also MUST enroll.

Table 15 on page 69 of the report, illustrates a Summary of Administrative Legal Changes Associated with Key Domestic Proposals. It details the role the Federal Government will play in all this. Notice in Universal 401(k) Plan the Feds establish a federally chartered clearinghouse structure that sets up and manages workers accounts as well as facilitates annuity purchases. Under the Guaranteed Retirement Accounts Plan, the Federal Government, under the Social Security Administration, establishes and administers a system of retirement savings accounts and manages and invests plan assets for you with a guaranteed return.

Will this be handled like everything else the government touches? It starts out sounding benevolent, then turns into a vehicle for corruption, abuse, fraud, mismanagement and theft upon the American people. Remember Social Security? That was a guarantee against poverty among the elderly too, when it was introduced in 1935. According to encyclopedia.com:

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt supported temporary emergency relief with enthusiasm but at first opposed a permanent federal role. By late 1934, however, the deepening depression led the president to appoint a Committee on Economic Security to draft a bill. Its staff headed by Edwin Witte and his colleagues from Wisconsin’s state government and the University of Wisconsin, the committee was dominated by proponents of social insurance. Their vision, derived from private life‐insurance plans, called for government funds to replace wages lost through illness, injury, unemployment, or retirement. Its advocates sought to serve the prosperous as well as the poor, thereby avoiding the stigma of “poor relief,” and to prevent, not simply alleviate, poverty. The committee adapted social insurance principles in designing three programs—unemployment compensation, old‐age pensions, and medical insurance, the last of which died owing to opposition from the organized medical profession.
We all know how well that worked out. Ah, but this will entail private accounts, will it not? Well, that is how the original idea is starting out. As anyone who has been a citizen of this country for any length of time can plainly see, our government will find a way to morph that into anything they want at any time of their choosing. 
 

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