August 30,2000

Roth Proclaims September 5TH to be 401(k) Day

WASHINGTON -- Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) today released the following statement announcing September 5, 2000 will be recognized as 401(k) Day:

"With the creation of 401(k)s, employers and employees have partnered in one of the most significant retirement security success stories of the past two decades. Employees have been empowered to build long-term wealth and security. By regularly contributing a percent of their earnings, 34 million American workers held $1.7 trillion dollars in their 401(k) plans by the end of 1999.

"Employers have done their part too. Ninety percent of 401(k) plan sponsors contribute to 401(k) plans, matching a portion of their employees contribution.

"Every year the Profit Sharing / 401(k) Council of America (PSCA) recognizes the success of 401(k) plans by celebrating 401(k) Day on the day following Labor Day - September 5th this year. This year workers will be encouraged to 'Save 1% more in the new millennium.'

"I want Americans to be celebrating 401(k) Day, not just one day, but throughout their retirement. To ensure this, I am working on new proposals to help Americans save. On or about September 7, I will convene the Senate Finance Committee to consider legislation increasing opportunities for Americans to save for retirement. In this legislation will be provisions increasing the annual maximum for 401(k) contributions from $10,500 to $15,000, increased contribution opportunities for those who are age 50 and are near retirement and a new way of allowing employees to contribute to a 401(k) and receive the benefits of tax free distributions at retirement - just like a Roth IRA. In addition, I have proposed a tax credit for low and moderate income savers which will raise the tax benefit that they receive when contributing to a 401(k) plan.

"I congratulate PSCA for their leadership on 401(k) day. But even more importantly, I congratulate the employees who have used their 401(k) plans to save for their future and the employers who have matched these contributions. I am working to give you even more tools to help you prepare for a life in retirement. And I am also working to ensure that 401(k) plans, and thereby America, will continue to flourish and prosper."