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House Democrats roll out retirement plan
Under 'AmeriSave' plan, workers and employers would have incentives to save for retirement.
July 26, 2005: 5:26 PM EDT
By David Ellis, CNN/Money staff writer
SPECIAL REPORT
Social Security »»

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Democratic members of Congress introduced a retirement security plan Tuesday that promises to foster savings among middle- and working-class individuals.

The plan, known as AmeriSave, did not include any proposals regarding changes to Social Security. The Democrats have said they would not discuss Social Security reform until Republicans drop the issue of introducing individual investment accounts into the system.

The AmeriSave plan, which was presented in Washington by House minority leader Nancy Pelosi of California and other Congressional Democrats, would provide workers with a variety of savings options instead of relying strictly on Social Security benefits.

"Today, House Democrats are proud to present AmeriSave, a plan for retirement security that embodies our commitment to middle-class families by providing them with the tools they need to achieve retirement security," said Pelosi.

Under the plan, working and middle class individuals who participate in a retirement savings program such as a 401(k) or an IRA would have the first $1,000 contributed to their account matched by government funds.

Small businesses that do not currently offer retirement accounts for their workers would receive tax credits that would help cover the cost of administrating a retirement plan.

Another major initiative of the AmeriSave plan would be the reformation of bankruptcy and pension laws that would make it more difficult for corporations to dissolve pension plans.

According to its sponsors, the plan would streamline the retirement savings process by encouraging employers to automatically enroll workers into a savings plan and starting the process of matching funds sooner.

Workers would also be able to directly deposit tax refunds into a retirement savings account.

"Our plan will expand and improve existing investment accounts, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, so that American families can benefit from compound interest while retaining Social Security's guaranteed benefit, creating a comprehensive retirement strategy" said Pelosi.

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