WASHINGTON -- Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., hopes the June gathering of 100 of the nation's best and brightest retirement experts will spark "important creative thinking" on a problem bedeviling the country: the low savings rate.
Mr. Pomeroy, who drafted the Savings are Vital to Everyone's Retirement Act that is making the White House summit on retirement income possible, anticipates the summit will prompt participants to dream up ways to encourage employers to offer retirement plans, and to motivate lower-income workers to contribute to those plans.
"We know that with about half of all employers in the country not offering retirement plans, there is an awful lot of room for improvement," Mr. Pomeroy said. He hopes employer representatives participating in the summit will identify legal provisions that discourage them from setting up plans.
Mr. Pomeroy is especially concerned about the inability of lower-paid workers to save for old age, because he fears they will be more dependent on public programs such as Social Security, which already is having trouble staying afloat.
"So we will be a lot better off if we can get them to save," he said.
Mr. Pomeroy is betting the publicity surrounding the summit will galvanize lawmakers into enacting pension legislation already on the table. Among them are proposals to make it easier for small employers to offer traditional pension plans, and for workers to take retirement savings with them from job to job.