Tax reform is a topic that Congress continues to tackle, but in order for Washington to lower rates, they have to eliminate loopholes and deductions.
"That's code for, 'We are going to eliminate some of the basic deductions that the American people are pretty much used to,' [which] includes ... incentives for retirement savings," says Brian Graff, CEO and executive director of ASPPA.
It's a topic the retirement industry is very concerned about, Graff said in an AdviserTV video, because tax incentives for retirement plans are "critically important. They are the main reason many companies put plans in place - particularly small businesses - and without those incentives, we know that many plans are going to be terminated."
He recalls The Tax Reform Act of 1986, which according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, tightened the nondiscrimination rules and reduced the maximum annual 401(k) before-tax salary deferrals by employees.
Graff says when that law passed; it resulted in tens of thousands of retirement plans being terminated. "That's not a good result from a policy prospective," he says.
So tax reform, he concludes, could lead "people down a path to do harm to the only way we've gotten middle America to save - a 401(k)."
To that end, in late November ASPPA launched Save My 401(k), a grassroots campaign to "protect the tax incentives of employer-sponsored retirement plans from the threat of tax reform."
It's a campaign "designed to activate the over 60 million American workers who have a 401(k) and similar retirement savings account to tell members of Congress, 'Hand's off my 401(k). Don't mess with this, I need this to be ready for retirement,'" Graff says. "It's critical for their future retirement security and it's critical for this nation."
The campaign includes a Facebook page (Facebook.com/SaveMy401k), Twitter hashtag (@SaveMy401k) and YouTube account.
Listen to Graff discuss this issue in an AdviserTV video.
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