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Merkley to Chair Hearing on Retirement Security

Hearing will Explore Need to Strengthen Social Security and End Predatory Practices in 401(k)s and IRAs

March 5, 2014

Washington, DC – Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Policy, announced his subcommittee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 12 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 538 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. titled “The State of U.S. Retirement Security. Can the Middle Class Afford to Retire?” The hearing will explore the major challenges facing Americans in preparing financially for retirement, the need to strengthen Social Security, and the effectiveness of currently available retirement products, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, in meeting the needs of consumers.

“Nobody who works hard for a lifetime should face the prospect of retiring to hard times,” Merkley said. “The financial crisis took a big swing at Americans’ retirement accounts, and with the decline of pensions and the inherent riskiness of 401(k)s and IRAs, we need to find a path forward that guarantees a healthy, secure retirement for our seniors.”

Witnesses will include Ted Wheeler, Treasurer of the State of Oregon; Dr. Monique Morrissey, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute; Robbie Hiltonsmith, a policy analyst at Demos; and Kristi Mitchem, Executive Vice President, State Street Global Advisors, and Head of the Americas Institutional Client Group.

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