Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–February 26, 2010. AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond issued the following statement today in response to the release of the Annual Report of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class:
“AARP appreciates the attention and work of the Middle Class Task Force on retirement security issues. The ability to save money for retirement, to retire comfortable and to safeguard their nest eggs is top of mind to the millions of individuals who lost significant amounts of their savings over the last two years.
“Providing Americans with a simple way to save for retirement at work through an automatic IRA, giving an incentive for people to save by expanding the Saver’s Credit, and increasing transparency and reliability of 401(k) plans are all steps Congress can take to strengthen the foundation of every American’s retirement.
“An Auto IRA would provide millions of workers who don’t have a retirement plan through their job with an easy way to start their own retirement account – a nest egg they could take with them even if they lost or changed jobs. AARP firmly believes that all Americans should have the choice to save for retirement at work and strongly supports Auto IRA.”
For more information, please visit www.aarp.org. Full text of Ms. LeaMond’s letter to Vice President Biden regarding the Annual Report of the White House Task Force on the Middle Class follows.
Dear Vice President Biden:
AARP appreciates the work of the Middle Class Task Force on retirement security and family caregiving issues. These are important issues to AARP members and their families that affect their health and financial security and well-being. Many individuals and their families have seen their retirement savings decline and family budgets dwindle. Many families are caring for their loved ones, including individuals in the “sandwich generation,” who are caring for their older parents and their children simultaneously.
AARP is pleased that the Middle Class Task Force has proposed increased funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program, home and community-based services that help older adults live in their homes, and the Lifespan Respite Care Program. Approximately 65 million Americans provide care to a loved one, with family caregivers giving about $375 billion worth of unpaid care a year—often at their own emotional and financial expense. AARP strongly supports increased funding for these programs that provide critical services to family caregivers, such as respite care, training, counseling, information and assistance in locating services, as well as transportation, personal care, adult day care, and other services to help individuals remain in their homes and communities. The vast majority (89 percent) of individuals age 50 and older want to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible. Family caregivers help many individuals do just that and are the backbone of long-term services and supports in this country. The Middle Class Task Force’s proposal takes an important step to support individuals in their caregiving roles.
AARP also appreciates the inclusion of the Automatic Individual Retirement Account (Auto IRA) proposal in the Middle Class Task Force’s recommendations. Currently, around 78 million workers in the United States – half of the American workforce – have no access to a retirement savings plan at work. As a result, the vast majority of these Americans will very likely be financially ill-prepared for their retirement years. Auto IRA will provide an easy way for Americans to save for their retirement at work through payroll deductions, to invest in accounts they can take with them when they change jobs, and most importantly, to feel more secure about their financial future. AARP firmly believes that all Americans should have access to a simple way to save for retirement at work and strongly supports Auto IRA.
The Auto IRA and caregiving proposals would help strengthen retirement security and support caregivers helping their loved ones. We commend you and the Middle Class Task Force for your leadership on these issues. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me, or have your staff contact Tom Nicholls or Rhonda Richards of our Government Relations and Advocacy staff.
Nancy A. LeaMond
Executive Vice President, Social Impact