Proposals in Retirement-Savings Bill Draw Fire
Wall Street Journal (10/02/00) Vol. 3, No. 5 p.C1; McKinnon, John D.; Schultz, Ellen E.

Provisions in a pension bill pending in Congress have kindled the ire of opponents, who argue that most laborers will not benefit from the terms. Activists and some Clinton administration officials charge that the measures are structured to favor employers more than employees. Moreover, critics say the changes may cost workers money in the long run. Under the House version, caps on IRAs would rise from $2,000 to $5,000, and limits on 401(k) plans would jump from $10,500 to $15,000. One of the provisions critics have singled out proposes that people over age 50 be allowed to contribute another $5,000 a year to an IRA. The Senate version would permit catch-up contributions of $7,500. Opponents maintain that this provision would likely be taken advantage of by individuals who have been contributing the maximum amounts for years. But government officials say the term gives the illusion that people would be "catching up," when actually they would be "bulking up."


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