David C. John is a senior strategic policy advisor at the AARP Public Policy Institute focusing on pension and retirement savings issues. John also serves as the deputy director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution.

Regulations Enable Millions to Build Retirement Security Through State Plans

Final Department of Labor (DOL) regulations have opened the way for the largest expansion of retirement plan coverage in several decades. The regulations provide much-needed guidance to states that want to establish state-sponsored automatic IRA plans for small-business employees. Earlier, DOL provided guidance for state-sponsored multiple employee plans (MEPs) and marketplaces. About 55 million Americans work for companies that don’t offer them the ability to save for retirement through payroll deduction. Most of these workers are employed by small businesses, …

Savers Need a Projection of Their Full Retirement Income

Individuals need better information to know how much to save for retirement. A good place to start is to provide them with a projection of their total retirement income that includes the monthly income they can reasonably expect from their retirement savings and their Social Security benefits. This combined estimate needs to be on one statement. Fifty-nine percent of U.S. savers in one poll reported being very or moderately afraid that they will not have enough money in retirement. That …

Making Retirement Saving Even More Valuable by Adding Automatic Emergency Savings

Automatic enrollment for retirement saving is both effective and popular among all income, gender and ethnic groups. It has increased participation, helped people to both start saving earlier and to make appropriate investment choices.This mechanism would be even more useful, especially for younger workers and those with low-to-moderate incomes if retirement savings plans also allowed employees to save for unexpected expenses. Recent research by the US Financial Diaries Project, which looks at the actual income flows of low-to-moderate income consumers …

New U.K. Annuity Reforms Are a Step Too Far

After nearly a decade where the United Kingdom has been the gold standard for retirement savings policy, it is about to take a step that it may regret. The U.K. has a retirement savings system that will enable virtually all of its workers to supplement their state-paid pension with retirement savings. When it is fully phased in, they will have access to a low-cost, diversified savings platform that uses automatic enrollment to encourage participation. However, starting in April, the requirement …

Creating Effective State-Sponsored Retirement Plans

By Gary Koenig, Vice President, Financial Security, and David John, Senior Policy Adviser, Financial Security State-sponsored retirement savings plans can help private-sector workers not covered by employer plans build financial security. How many workers? More than you might think. In 2013, about 55 million private-sector employees did not have access to a retirement plan at work, including more than 7 million in California, 2 million in Illinois, and about 1 million each in Indiana and Maryland. Research shows that middle …

A Curious Big Government Retirement Savings Solution From an Unlikely Source

AEI’s Andrew Biggs has a proposal to help more people save for retirement. Writing for Real Clear Markets, Biggs proposes to require all employers who offer their employees a retirement savings plan like a 401(k) to use automatic enrollment. Workers whose employers don’t offer such a plan would have “access” to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the retirement savings plan for federal employees. Biggs says that his proposal is “more about making government work better, than about making it larger.” …