Dec 182008

It’s bad enough that one of these years I’ll have to retire from my day job. But to make it worse, there is the existence of things such as Boston College’s “Center for Retirement Research.” That in itself isn’t the worst of it. The worst is that it’s led by a director, Alicia Munnell, who has this to say in last weekend’s WSJ:

The 401(k) system has had a chance, and in my view, it has failed. As a major shource of retirement income, it has shown itself unreliable–a point the financial crisis has driven home.

For the record, my own retirement savings are not in a 401K, but in TIAA-CREF. But TIAA-CREF is similar in that it’s another defined-contribution system. Those plans are hated by people who hate markets and human choice. Here’s an example of the attitude you find, from the same WSJ article.

We’ve shifted the risk and responsibility for retirement onto individuals. The evidence is at best mixed on how well this is working out.

Somebody has a government-centric outlook on life, it would appear, if he views individual risk and responsibility as an aberration.

To be sure, not all of the WSJ article is anti-choice. There are some pro-choice proposals to make 401(k)s better and more available. But there are plenty of people who just don’t like humans taking over the government’s job of running their lives.

Their solution? Turn investment decisions and planning over to the financial geniuses who now want to invest in GM and the Big Three.

  • G F Mueden

    I learn more freom example than from principle or theory and I may have company. Could you please flesh it out with examples of what you would like to have done and the effect it would have had? ===gm===

  • Reticulator

    Brief summary: I would like more people to have pension plans like my TIAA-CREF plan. There are slight improvements that could be made in portability, but as far as I know it’s the best one out there. The CREF part of my plan has tanked for now, but that’s a problem with the economy, not with TIAA-CREF. TIAA-CREF is providing me with as good a buffer against those problems as can be expected, though I see that Bernanke is busy trying to steal everything in it through inflation.