Universal Retirement

SEIU Wants to Get It’s Hands on Your 401(k) Plan
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
The Obama administration, with the help of SEIU, is days away from giving us universal healthcare. Now SEIU President, Andy Stearn, wants to get his hands on all the money in your retirement account. Two Obama advisors have devised a plan to help him do just that. Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry say they can help you turn your savings into guaranteed income streams.  If that runs out, you can always buy ‘longevity insurance’ for retirees living beyond a certain age.

Everyone with a 401 (k) or IRA account would be forced into a government annuity program – and they want to run that program. That’s a big pile of money. $15.9 trillion dollars. Managing those monthly deposits and getting hefty commissions right off the top adds up to trillions more.

The government money managers want to take all that money and put it in a general pool. Then they plan to redistribute it in a more equitable way. Too bad if your account had $3 million and mine only had $20,000. It’s all about sharing the wealth. If you scrimped and saved and didn’t live lavishly and if I bought new cars every other year, took great vacations and didn’t put much into the account it doesn’t matter.

Yes, the government – with the help of the unions can run your retirement account. That’s assuring. Somehow they believe they are more qualified to pick investments than a private fund manager. How, exactly, they plan to invest the money, they haven’t said. They want the money first.

The new consumer-labor group, “Retirement USA,” – a subsidiary of SEIU,  backed by the Pension Rights Center, the Service Employees International Union and the Economic Policy Institute, said the flagging economy has highlighted the inadequacies of 401(k) plans and increased the need for alternatives such as government-managed funds run with professional oversight.

Government success in getting workers to move retirement assets into annuities would prove highly profitable for insurers that sell annuities. The top sellers of individual annuities in the U.S. include AIG, MetLife Inc. (MET), Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (HIG), Lincoln National Corp. (LNC) and New York Life Insurance Co., according to figures from the American Council of Life Insurers for 2008. The top group-annuity sellers include ING, Prudential Financial, MetLife and Manulife Financial Corp.

Annuity sales to individuals have come under regulatory scrutiny in recent years over the size of sales commissions and whether some varieties are suitable for older investors.Ya’ think?

Let’s see. You give the company your money, then the company charges you a fee to give your money back to you. They figure out how long they think you will live, then divide the money into equal sums to give you each month. If you live longer than the money lasts – then you have the ‘opportunity’ to buy extended coverage. The problem with that is, you’ve used up all your money and can’t afford the extended insurance. They haven’t said what their plan is when that happens.

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