Opinion: Forget tax breaks; introduce automatic savings

06/1/2011 | Slate

Tax breaks intended to encourage people to save for their retirement are expensive and don't work too well, writes Brian Palmer -- so why not pass an automatic-savings bill instead? People tend toward inaction, so creating an opt-out system, perhaps accompanied by a federal 401(k) for workers whose employers don't offer savings plans, could bring big results. "By simply switching the default -- requiring people to opt out of a savings program, rather than asking them to opt in -- the savings rate could shift significantly," Palmer writes.

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