[Smlr_net] Highest earners get biggest tax breaks for saving for retirement

Eugene McElroy sagauro at rci.rutgers.edu
Fri Oct 23 10:47:50 EDT 2009

Low wage earners face the most challenges saving for retirement, yet the
tax subsidies for retirement saving are skewed overwhelmingly in favor of
top earners.  Since tax breaks for 401(k)s and similar retirement plans
are tied to a participant’s income tax rate, low-income taxpayers receive
modest or no tax subsidies for each dollar put into these plans. The
highest-paid workers, who have more resources to save for retirement
without government assistance, receive the largest tax breaks.  The
problem is compounded by the fact that higher-paid workers are more likely
to be offered a plan by their employer, and to receive a generous employer
match, so they’re more likely to participate.


Eugene McElroy
Rutgers University
School of Management and Labor Relations Library
50 Labor Center Way
New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901
tel: 732-932-9513


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