ASPPA’s Graff Blasts Rubio’s Retirement Proposal

Excerpt: “Though Rubio is attempting to confront the widespread problem of saving too little for retirement, his proposed solution is not addressing the cause of the issue, says Brian Graff, CEO of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries.

“It’s surprising, in a word, from a Republican,” Graff says of Rubio’s proposal. “It sounds like he’s trying to ‘Obamacare’ retirement. It’s really not what we need to help retirement in this country. Unlike health care, there is not an access problem.”

Rather, Rubio’s idea is a “gimmick” similar to Obama’s myRA proposal, Graff says, adding that aspirations for a 2016 presidential run are likely fueling the new proposal.

Graff and others have been critical of the myRA proposal, which the Treasury has been tasked with drafting. That program would offer savers payroll deduction, a minimum initial contribution of $25 and subsequent minimum contributions of $5. The plan would invest in Treasury bonds, and account balances would be protected, Obama said during the State of the Union address in January.

The issue of inadequate retirement saving should be addressed through expanded workplace plans, which can be hampered by existing rules and regulations, Graff says.

Further, few Americans sign up for low-minimum investment IRAs, indicating that the issue is not a lack of access to retirement savings accounts, he notes.

“The problem is not a supply problem. It’s a demand problem,” he says. “I can’t get through any basketball game without seeing commercials for cars, beers and IRAs.… It’s a pretty competitive market out there.”