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American Savings Act would help promote retirement security

Written by Diane Archer

Nearly 70 million Americans do not have access to a retirement savings plan through work. But, every federal employee, including every member of Congress, has access to the Thrift Savings Plan, to promote retirement savings and ensure their retirement security. What if everyone had access to the Thrift Savings Plan? The American Savings Act, a bill in Congress sponsored by Senator Merkley, would promote “a more secure retirement future” for everyone without a retirement savings plan.

Federal employees are automatically enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan, which has low fees and clear and simple investment options. So, most of them have retirement savings. But, one in three working-age Americans report having no retirement savings whatsoever.

To help encourage everyone in America to save for retirement, the American Savings Act would automatically enroll everyone without an employer retirement savings plan. Employees can decide how much to set aside for retirement up to $18,000 a year. 

The American Savings Act would give everyone access to universal, simple, portable American Savings Accounts, personal retirement savings plans.  To read the full bill, click here.

Here’s more from Just Care on retirement security:



  • Saving for retirement doesn’t really work due to the extremely low interest rates. This is a big factor in why pension plans are in danger.

  • Thank you, Nora, for stating the obvious to everyone who would like to save money and see it grow. The extremely low interest rates for the last 10 to 15 years have essentially meant that the money in savings accounts is just standing still.

  • I don’t understand how this would be better than IRA’s. The people who have the lowest incomes will still be living on the edge of abject poverty and unable to save. They need every cent of their income just be able to eat and have a roof over their heads. In addition, because of lower income they also have lower Social Security payments. They will remain one unexpected expense away from homelessness. The more money a person makes the more likely he will be able to provide for himself in retirement, since higher income families require a lower percentage of their income to survive. Where is the big change? I lived above the poverty line, but no way I could have saved 18,000 a year. It was difficult to max out my IRA at $2,000 a year. The people who have $18,000 a year disposable income already have options.

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