Could Congress Mandate & Confiscate IRAs and 401k In A Pinch To Pay Down The $16.3 Trillion Debt?

Could IRAs Be Viewed As Eminent Domain Possibilities?

Although many savers may find it hard to believe that a government takeover of 401(k) accounts and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) is possible to fill in the gap created by the largest deficit in history for any country in the world, there are plenty of media reports to substantiate this idea.

Here is a list of signs that the government might attempt to nationalize your retirement funds in the near future:

Will Work For 401k contributions

Will Work For 401k

1. In September 2009, Teresa Ghilarducci opened a discussion for the de-privatization of the 401(k) and for Individual Retirement Accounts after receiving funding from the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation for this initiative. Here is an interview between Mark Levin and Teresa.

2. On February 2010, Vice President Biden and a White House task force sketched a plan for a Guaranteed Retirement Account (GRA).

3. On February 2010, Rick Santelli from CNBC reported that the 30-year Treasury Bond auction nearly failed. The Federal Reserve later disclosed that they purchased 25% of the Treasury Bonds and have now increased their rate of purchase to 61% at every auction.

4. On March 2010, Business Week reported new Federal regulations discussions about converting retirement accounts into annuities as a way to deliver cash to American International Group (AIG), a government-controlled entity.

5. On September 2010, the Labor Department met with the Treasury Department to discuss how to promote the idea of converting retirement plan like 401(k) and the IRA into an annuity or some other type of steady payment plan.

6. On January 2011, Goldworth Financial reported that the Government employee funds might be at the risk of a government takeover.

7. On May 15th, Washington Post reported that the Treasury planned to tap pensions to help with government funding.

8. On January, 2012, Reuters reported the Treasury dipped into pensions to avoid the debt limit.

9. On this blog on April 25, 2012, we reported on two new proposals floating around the Congressional Ways and Means Committee that may alter the course of how 401k and IRA savings accounts are taxed. To learn more, click here:

10. The latest proposal regarding the future of retirement accounts was embedded within the latest proposed 2013 Budget Proposal that offered consideration to Secure Choice Pensions and Government Retirement Accounts (GRA’s). These retirement plans call for a mandatory 5 to 6 percent contribution into a Government-run pension system.

Larry Henson, July 6, 2012. “Is this true? I hope someone says no.”

Final Thoughts

A nearly $16.3 trillion debts shows our current financial ratio is bad, because there is a severe imbalance in the financial ratio between government spending and balancing the budget. Ostensibly the purpose of a democracy is to protect its citizens through the law, but there are many instances in US history to show that property rights have been waived in favor of public policy. The bailout funding, for instance, did not have any legal precedent, revoked US bankruptcy laws and adversely affected bondholders. So, could Congress do something like this in a pinch. It’s indeed possible; after all, retirement obligations have been violated in the past around the world as well as in our country. One clear example is how the Social Security trust fund has been used to enable politicians for years to spend at a higher level, and, in fact, our Treasury Department still continues to use Social Security funds to permit the government to continue to borrow and spend money.

The impact this will have and the message it sends to savers and those with a 401k or IRA still hangs in the balance.

A possible worse case scenario is that it might result in complete discouragement, a sort of “learned helplessness,” or an apathy that wipes out all pretense of saving for one’s individual retirement. Or worse yet, our debt crisis leads our elected officials to enact an emergency measure in which 401k and IRAs are confiscated or nationalized to pay down the debt run up by temporarily elected politicians.

The best case scenario, on the other hand, is that it ignites a determination to change current government spending policies.

Let us hope enough people are concerned right now at the outrageous ideas that millions of 401k funds and IRAs are confiscated and speak up through their legislators before we are forced to face the consequences of our profligate spending.

Additional Resources:

401(k) Foe Teresa Ghilarducci, the Most Dangerous Woman in America

By James Pethokoukis


Fiscal Cliff: Why Congress Might Have to Mess with the 401(k)

By Dan Kadlec
Read more:


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