Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Big Club

Perhaps George Carlin was right in his assessment of The American Dream.

If you participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, then you enjoy a tax break every time you contribute to your account. That's because your contributions are made on a "pre-tax" basis, meaning each dollar you set aside reduces your taxable income.

The upshot of that tax deduction is that 401(k)-style retirement plans "cost" the government money - an estimated $75 billion each year in revenue.

And with Uncle Sam facing serious fiscal challenges, some policymakers and budget analysts see retirement plan tax deductions as a tempting target, according to Ann L. Combs, head of Vanguard's Government Relations unit.

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