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Aspen IFS ‘Your Nest Egg on Auto Pilot’ Congressional Briefing

February 23, 2010  • Institute Contributor

On February 23, 2010, Aspen IFS, in conjunction with the Senate Special Committee on Aging, held a Congressional briefing, “Your Nest Egg on Auto Pilot.” Moderated by Lisa Mensah, Executive Director of Aspen IFS, the event featured several prominent panelists including Mark J. Iwry, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy at the U.S. Treasury; Cristina Martin Firvida, Director of Economic Security at AARP; Nancy Register, Associate Director of the Consumer Federation of America; Lewis Mandell, Senior Fellow of Aspen IFS, and John Tippets, CEO of North Island Credit Union and Founding Aspen IFS Advisory Board Member.

The event provided an important opportunity for discussants, Congressional staffers, and concerned stakeholders to engage in a serious dialogue about the design of the Obama Administration’s policies to expand retirement saving for millions of Americans.  Panelists agreed the Automatic IRA would benefit millions of American workers currently without access to a retirement plan at work. Mark Iwry explained how the Administration’s proposal would build on successes of the current work-based retirement system — namely payroll deposits, automatic enrollments, and tax-favored vehicles present in 401(k) plans.  Iwry went on to detail the Administration’s proposed expansion of the Saver’s Credit, explaining how the revamped credit would help to restore progressivity to America’s tax code, providing more equitable saving incentives to America’s low- and moderate-income citizens.

Lewis Mandell, Senior Fellow at Aspen IFS, affirmed the importance of a robust default investment option for the Automatic IRA.  Mandell proposed Real Savings + (RS+), an innovative investment option designed by Aspen IFS that offers savers a robust low-risk, low-cost vehicle to build their retirement nest eggs.  RS+ is comprised of two investments — Treasury Inflated Securities (TIPS) and an equity-market index — explained Mandell. Through an automatic, inexpensive blend of TIPS and the market index, RS+ protects all savers from the three most likely risks to retirement income – inflation, default by the bond issuer, and falling stock prices.  “[You] cannot lose a cent of your contribution, you cannot lose from inflation, and also you gain very likely upside potential, because it invests partly in an index of common stocks.  This aspect is key,” asserted Mandell.

To watch the full event click here.