Retirement industry leader Robert L. Reynolds calls for ‘new era’ in retirement savings
September 18, 2017
- Reynolds-authored “From Here to Security” highlights the need to expand and bolster the U.S. workplace savings system.
- Path forward to overcoming retirement challenges discussed at gathering of policy and industry experts in New York City.
- Continuing tax-advantaged status for retirement savings in any potential tax reform is critical, says Reynolds.
NEW YORK, NY, September 18, 2017 — At a gathering of distinguished policy and industry experts today, Robert L. Reynolds, CEO of Great-West Financial® and Putnam Investments, called for meaningful improvements to America’s workplace savings system that would enable millions more Americans to better prepare for a dignified retirement, and in turn, would also help spur the country’s long-term economic growth.
Reynolds, author of the new book, From Here to Security: How Workplace Savings Can Keep America’s Promise, published today by McGraw-Hill, is urging support for new policy measures to make workplace savings accessible to nearly all American workers and to enhance the current retirement system by fully implementing proven best practices in retirement plan design — including auto enrollment and auto-savings escalation.
“We have a tremendous opportunity to dramatically improve income replacement in retirement for all working Americans,” said Reynolds. “While we know that a strengthened workplace savings system would be extremely beneficial for individuals and families, the additional savings would also provide the U.S. economy with a much needed growth engine by fueling our capital markets, business development, job creation and more,” he continued.
“On a macro level, meeting our retirement challenges head-on would create a tremendous spirit of American renewal and optimism by taking charge of our own destiny,” Reynolds added.
Among the highlights of the retirement policy forum in New York City was a panel discussion featuring Reynolds and the following leading experts:
- J. Mark Iwry, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; former Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy at the U.S. Treasury
- Harry Conaway, President and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute
- James Pethokoukis, Senior Economic Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute
Reynolds, CEO of Great-West Financial — which includes Empower Retirement, the nation’s second largest retirement service provider by participants — explained that the nation holds some $26 trillion in retirement assets, yet tens of millions of U.S. citizens lack access to on-the-job savings plans. He noted that policy fixes that make multi-employer plans easier to set up and administer could go a long way to expanding plan access. In addition, Reynolds pointed out that the long-term solvency of Social Security is essential, as the program serves as the foundation for all Americans’ retirement security.
“We must not sacrifice the savings we’ll need tomorrow to pay for today’s needs. Personal solvency and national solvency actually reinforce each other,” said Reynolds. “It follows that any policy move that increases savings will also increase growth. Any policy moves that reduce or inhibit savings will slow future growth.”
In referencing practical solutions addressed in From Here to Security, Reynolds emphasized that the adoption of plan features such as automatic enrollment, automatic savings escalation to at least 10% and guidance to age-appropriate investment allocations is a key formula in driving the success of millions of American retirement accounts. Reynolds pointed to the Pension Protection Act of 2006 as a major policy accomplishment that needs to be built upon.
“If workers across the United States can be given access to a retirement savings plan, which makes use of proven best practices, we can help position millions of additional Americans for a more successful outcome in retirement,” he said, “Solving America’s retirement challenge is very much within our grasp.”
About From Here to Security
From Here to Security: How Workplace Savings Can Keep America’s Promise by Robert L. Reynolds makes the case that adjustments to the retirement system will result in greater outcomes for individuals, businesses and the U.S. economy — helping to drive growth, innovation and national optimism. For more information, visit the accompanying website.
About Great-West Financial
Great-West Financial® is a registered mark of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. Headquartered in metro Denver, Great-West Financial administers $521 billion in assets for its nearly 8.7 million retirement, insurance and annuity customers.
Empower Retirement, Great-West Financial’s retirement arm, is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan record keeper by total participants (Pensions & Investments, April 2017). Great-West Financial is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Great-West Lifeco Inc. and “A Member of the Power Financial Corporation Group of Companies®.”
About Putnam Investments
Founded in 1937, Putnam Investments is a global money management firm with 80 years of investment experience. At the end of August 2017, Putnam had $166 billion in assets under management. Putnam has offices in Boston, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore and Sydney. For more information, visit putnam.com.