The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) and finance expert Ric Edelman have announced the launch of a new campaign, “Funding Our Future: A Campaign for America’s Retirement Security.
The three main goals of the campaign are to make saving easier for Americans of all ages, help retirees transform their savings into a lifetime of income and save the Social Security system, which faces depletion in 2034. The campaign is aimed at educating policymakers and the American public about these issues.
“We need to take action to improve America’s retirement security before it’s too late,” says Ric Edelman, executive chairman of Edelman Financial Services. “Through this campaign and partnerships, we encourage all Americans to call on their representatives in Congress, to convince them to tackle the problems facing the country’s retirement system so we can improve the well-being of millions of current and future retirees.”
Specifically, the campaign says there are six challenges to retirement security. First, many people do not have a workplace retirement plan. The group is calling for the establishment of retirement security plans to help smaller business offer a retirement savings plan and to establish a nationwide minimum coverage standard to expand access to workplace retirement savings.
Second, to reduce leakage from retirement accounts, the group says the industry should simplify the process to move assets from plan to plan and simplify short-term savings by clearing barriers to automatic enrollment in multiple savings accounts, including a short-term savings account.
Third, to eliminate the possibility of people outliving their savings, the group wants the industry and policymakers to encourage plan sponsors to include easy-to-use lifetime income features in their retirement plans.
Fourth, to facilitate the use of home equity for retirement consumption, the group thinks the government should end subsidies for the use of home equity for pre-retirement consumption and strengthen programs that advise and support consumers on reverse mortgages.
Fifth, the group says that improving financial knowledge among Americans is a must. Schools, started as early as kindergarten, should educate our young people about personal finance and continue this education all the way up through higher education, the group says. This includes teaching people about the benefits of claiming Social Security benefits later.
Sixth, the group is calling on the government to strengthen Social Security’s finances to ensure that the system is solvent for 75 years or longer.
Six other organizations have partnered with Edelman and the Bipartisan Policy Center on this campaign: The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, PBC Action, The Employee Benefit Research Institute, Prosperity Now, UnidosUS and The Women’s Institute For A Secure Retirement. The campaign plans to add additional partners in the coming months.
More information about the campaign can be viewed here.