Should Your 401(k) Be Eliminated to Save Social Security Benefits?

Some economists argue that tax-advantaged retirement plans are not as beneficial as they seem.

choice conept with a yellow door next to a blue door
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Retirement savings are essential for financial security, but data show that many people in the United States lack sufficient funds for retirement. High healthcare costs, living expenses, and inflation make it challenging for many to save enough. Meanwhile, Social Security is facing solvency issues. Without reforms, the latest estimates indicate future generations' benefits could be in jeopardy as early as 2035.

Enter economists Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and Andrew Biggs, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). They propose abolishing tax-sheltered savings plans like 401(k)s and IRAs to bolster Social Security. 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.