IRI urges Obama to push importance of retirement tax incentivesNews added by Benefits Pro on January 29, 2014

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By Paula Aven Gladych

The Insured Retirement Institute wants President Barack Obama to mention the importance of tax incentives for retirement savings in his State of the Union address tonight.

The organization, which leads a national consumer coalition of more than 20 organizations that represent insured retirement strategies, said that when tax reform was all the rage, the topic of retirement savings was at the forefront of the national conversation, but lately it has dropped off the radar.

The IRI believes that any plan to reduce or eliminate tax deferral for retirement savings would be detrimental to those working toward a financially secure retirement.

“We also will be listening to learn about President Obama’s ideas for creating a more efficient regulatory environment. The Treasury Department, via the Federal Insurance Office, recently recognized the need for increased uniformity in insurance oversight to benefit both market participants and consumers. At IRI, we support reforms that will lead to more efficient and effective regulation, ultimately reducing the costs to insurance providers and the Americans who rely on their strategies for a secure retirement,” it said in a statement.

The IRI advocates for common sense reforms, such as the creation of a national insurance licensing clearinghouse through the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act. The proposal already passed in the House and the Senate is expected to make a move on it in the future.

“President Obama and his administration have been tremendous partners in promoting lifetime income and educational initiatives that enhance Americans’ understanding of their retirement savings options, such as the Department of Labor’s work to develop rules for including income illustrations on benefit statements. These efforts to expand access to lifetime income and retirement information are laudable. But it will be equally important to ensure that no other efforts deliver the unintended consequence of impeding access to investment information and retirement plan services,” the organization said in a statement.

The organization believes it is imperative that the country focus on protecting and expanding access to retirement information and services. It hopes the DOL’s fiduciary rule, which is scheduled to be released in August, does not limit consumer choice and deprive lower- and middle-income Americans from accessing affordable retirement plan services and information.

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