On July 24, 2013, The Aspen Institute Initiative on Financial Security (Aspen IFS) hosted a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill entitled “What’s At Stake: Tax Reform and Retirement Security.” The briefing explored how tax reform can serve as an opportunity to enhance retirement security for all Americans.
Colby Farber, a Senior Associate at Aspen IFS, moderated the briefing, which featured keynote remarks by Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), who are both members of the House Committee on Ways and Means. Congressmen Paulsen and Neal have spearheaded the push for policy reforms that would make it easier for American workers to achieve retirement security.
Featured speakers at the briefing included Brian Graff, Executive Director & CEO of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA); Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum; Christine Marcks, President of Prudential Retirement; Lisa Mensah, Founder & Director of Aspen IFS; and Aliya Wong, Executive Director of Retirement Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
This dialogue on tax reform and retirement security is as timely as ever. Policymakers from across the political spectrum are contemplating tax reform, and today, President Obama delivered a speech on the economy at Knox College, which echoed the conversation at the Aspen briefing. In his speech, President Obama identified retirement security as a cornerstone of what it means to be middle class in the United States. To quote his remarks at length, “…Today, a rising stock market has millions of retirement balances rising. Bu t we still live with an upside-down system where those at the top get generous tax incentives to save, while tens of millions of hardworking Americans get none at all. As we work to reform our tax code, we should find new ways to make it easier for workers to put money away, and free middle-class families from the fear that they’ll never be able to retire.”