McCain and Obama Agree on an Important Policy Proposal – The Retirement Security Project's Automatic IRA

Navigate to:

McCain and Obama Agree on an Important Policy Proposal – The Retirement Security Project's Automatic IRA

In the midst of a campaign with opposing views on most aspects of domestic policy, the presidential candidates have now both endorsed the Automatic IRA.  

Automatic IRAs would extend payroll-based retirement saving opportunities to the 78 million employees currently without access to a retirement plan. Employers that do not sponsor a retirement plan would enable employee payroll deposits to IRAs, and would receive temporary tax credits to offset any administrative costs. Bipartisan automatic IRA legislation is pending in Congress. 

Media Notes: Media interested in interviewing the co-authors of the automatic IRA proposal should contact Jennifer Devlin at 703-876-1714 or [email protected].  They are:

  • Mark Iwry – Principal to The Retirement Security Project and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He served as the Benefits Tax Counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department (1995-2001), serving as the principal Executive Branch official directly responsible for tax policy and regulation relating to the nation's tax-qualified pension and 401(k) plans and other employee benefits. 
  • David C. John – Principal to The Retirement Security Project and Senior Research Fellow with the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation.  He has been involved in Washington's top policy debates for almost 30 years and he continues that career as Heritage's lead analyst on issues relating to pensions, financial institutions, asset building, and Social Security reform. 

Note: The Automatic IRA proposal has been introduced in the 110th Congress as the "Automatic IRA Act of 2007", H.R. 2167, sponsored by Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) and Rep. Phil English (R-PA), and S. 1141, sponsored by Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Gordon Smith (R-OR), with additional cosponsors in the House and Senate.  

For more information, please go to: Pursuing Universal Retirement Security Through Automatic IRAs (PDF). 

About the Retirement Security Project

The Retirement Security Project is supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts in partnership with Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute and the Brookings Institution. It is directed by William Gale, also Director of Economic Studies and Co-Director of the Tax Policy Center at The Brookings Institution; with Principals Mark Iwry, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and David C. John, Senior Research Fellow in Retirement Issues and Financial Institutions at the Heritage Foundation.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Retirement Security Project on