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Hill Ignores Bipartisanship of Automatic IRAs

Reporting for The Hill, Walter Alarkon, in his July 13th article “Democrats and AARP want to make IRA enrollment automatic,” implies that the automatic investment retirement accounts (IRAs) is a Democratically controlled plan with support only from the White House and the Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP). But The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Research Fellow in Retirement Security and Financial Markets David John refutes Alarkon’s assertion that the Automatic IRA is a partisan idea:

The Automatic IRA has enjoyed wide bipartisan and cross-ideological support since it was first unveiled at The Heritage Foundation in February 2006. This is not, as the story implied, some partisan initiative. It was co-developed by Mark Iwry, then at Brookings, and me as part of the Retirement Security Project. It was endorsed by both the McCain and Obama campaigns during the 2008 campaign. This broad support continues.

Alarkon also says the “The auto-enrollment provision will get pushback from small-business groups,” but John writes that “Studies show that small business employees want the Automatic IRA, and as they learn more about the proposal, employers do also. In past Congresses, the proposal had bipartisan co-sponsorship, and that level of support is possible this year also. In addition to the AARP’s support, the Automatic IRA has also been endorsed by a number of small business groups, including the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the National Alliance of African-American Chambers of Commerce, Women Impacting Public Policy, and the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.”