Retirement System Needs Reform, Congressman Says

By Staff Report

Feb. 25, 2009

Congress must move to reform the nation’s retirement system, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller said Tuesday, February 24, and lawmakers are planning a series of hearings this year to figure out exactly how to do it.

“Clearly there’s corrective action that must be taken by the Congress,” said Miller, D-California, in an interview after a hearing on 401(k) reform. “We’re not meeting what I believe is a national mandate to encourage savings,” he added. “We’re not meeting the retirement objectives of the vast majority of American families.”

Miller said he hasn’t determined exactly what sort of reforms to pursue, but his committee had heard several good, different proposals aimed at promoting universal retirement coverage.

“People clearly believe you have to do this,” he said.

During the hearing, Miller also said he believed that in the short term, Congress had to address ways to improve 401(k) plans, making them more transparent, fair “and operated on behalf of the account holder, not Wall Street firms.”

“But we must also ask the difficult questions about the state of our nation’s retirement system as a whole and look to see whether we need to create a new leg of retirement security,” Miller said.

Filed by Doug Halonen of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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