Video: Obama Addresses Retirement Savings in SOTU Address

Several observers wondered on Tuesday whether retirement would have a place in President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

Turns out, retirement-related topics got a solid 4 minutes of time during the speech [see the above video].

Most notable was Obama’s call for retirement savings to be portable.

Obama’s remarks:

Of course, a great education isn’t all we need in this new economy. We also need benefits and protections that provide a basic measure of security. After all, it’s not much of a stretch to say that some of the only people in America who are going to work the same job, in the same place, with a health and retirement package, for 30 years, are sitting in this chamber. For everyone else, especially folks in their forties and fifties, saving for retirement or bouncing back from job loss has gotten a lot tougher. Americans understand that at some point in their careers, they may have to retool and retrain. But they shouldn’t lose what they’ve already worked so hard to build.

[…]For Americans short of retirement, basic benefits should be just as mobile as everything else is today. Say a hardworking American loses his job – we shouldn’t just make sure he can get unemployment insurance; we should make sure that program encourages him to retrain for a business that’s ready to hire him. If that new job doesn’t pay as much, there should be a system of wage insurance in place so that he can still pay his bills. And even if he’s going from job to job, he should still be able to save for retirement and take his savings with him.

Read the full transcript here.

 

Photo by  Bob Jagendorf via Flickr CC License

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