(Bloomberg) — We’ve been looking for someone who was involved in actually writing section 401(k) of the U.S. tax code more than 35 years ago, read the e-mail to Richard Stanger. “Yes, that’s me,” he wrote back.

Stanger was a primary author of a little-noticed piece of a 1978 tax law. At the time, the 869-word insert was lost in the political heat of limits on tax-deductible three-martini lunches, lower capital gains rates and a bipartisan coalition that was rejecting President Jimmy Carter’s proposals. Today, 401(k) is likely the most recognizable number in the Internal Revenue Code.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access