Because they know what’s best for you

They being the government, and particularly the Obama Administration:

The Obama administration is weighing how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams following a collapse in retiree accounts when the stock market plunged.

The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are spearheading the effort.

Annuities generally guarantee income until the retiree’s death, and often that of a surviving spouse as well. They are designed to protect against the risk that retirees outlive their savings, a danger made clear by market losses suffered by older Americans over the last year, David Certner, legislative counsel for AARP, said in an interview.

Asset managers are concerned the government may go too far in encouraging annuities, said Mike McNamee, a spokesman for the Investment Company Institute. Seven in 10 U.S. households would object to a requirement that retirees convert part of their savings into annuities, according to a survey the group released today.

“Households’ views on policy changes revealed a preference to preserve retirement account features and flexibility,” the institute said in a report.

Interesting that the article opens with the government encouraging action by retirees but ends with a requirement to convert their savings into annuities.  Most interesting.

Especially to Gerard who while linking to the story above also adds a link to this relevant and cogent piece:

The Argentine state is taking control of the country’s privately-managed pension funds in a drastic move to raise cash.

It is a foretaste of what may happen across the world as governments discover that tax revenue, and discover that the bond markets are unwilling to plug the gap. The G7 states are already acquiring an unhealthy taste for the arbitrary seizure of private property, I notice.

Would be good to read the whole thing.  And then rest in the security of knowing Obama would never do such a thing.

Never.

Crossposted(*).

Things that make you go hmmm (UPDATED)
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