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Automatic Enrollment in IRAs: Costs and Benefits

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Publication Date: August 2009

Publisher(s): Tax Policy Center

Author(s): Benjamin H. Harris; Rachel M. Johnson

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Economics (Economic theory)

Keywords: Federal Budgets & Fiscal Policy; Retirement/Pensions; Fiscal future; Taxes and Social Programs

Type: Paper


To encourage better retirement saving, President Obama recently proposed policies that would require firms without retirement savings plans to automatically enroll their workers in IRAs. In addition, the president proposed an expansion of the Saver's Credit to be fully refundable and available to middle-income taxpayers. This report estimates the revenue costs and distributional effects of the president's proposals.