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Retirement Savings Policy by Michael P. Barry

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Chapter 16 Adequate Savings and the Regulatory Framework—Retirement Savings Tax Incentives

Let’s return to the first adequacy issue we identified in the previous chapter—adequate savings. The most obvious and basic challenge here is to get more sponsors to adopt some sort of retirement savings program in the first place—we are going to deal with that issue comprehensively in Part III. But, assuming that the employer does maintain a 401(k) plan, the “adequate savings” challenge is, given the commitment to individual choice that is fundamental to the 401(k) system, how to encourage participants to save without violating that principle of voluntariness.

The main policy tool used to encourage retirement savings is tax incentives, and in this chapter ...

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