Help Is Almost Here for Retirement Savers

In Social Security and Retirement On

Washington shocker: With overwhelming bipartisan support and little public attention, the House of Representatives recently passed the most significant reforms to individual retirement accounts in more than a decade.

But while support in the Senate is also strong and bipartisan, a few recalcitrant Republicans, notably Ted Cruz of Texas, are threatening to hold up passage over small pet issues.

We need the Senate to go along. The improvements are important because the shift away from traditional, employer-based plans that began in the early 1970s has proved deeply flawed; tens of millions of Americans are now facing retirement without adequate financial resources.

Most importantly, the legislation would facilitate the ability of holders of 401(k)’s and I.R.A.s to use the balances in their accounts to purchase annuities that would provide a steady, predictable income from retirement until death.

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