The American Council of Life insurers has issued its retirement security agenda.[@@]

“People are living longer, and they need to be educated on the importance of preparing for retirements that could last 20 years, 30 years or more,” said Frank Keating, President and CEO of the ACLI, Washington.

The report, “Retiring in the 21st Century: A National Retirement Agenda,” calls on those crafting the nation’s retirement laws and policy to establish incentives for workers to increase long-term savings and to use annuities to assure a steady income stream in retirement.

The group also calls for promoting greater participation in employer-based retirement plans and for providing incentives for workers to buy long-term care insurance or for employers to offer such coverage.

“Private long-term care insurance can help people pay for the high cost of long-term care services,” Keating says. “For this reason, we support a range of changes for long-term care insurance coverage, including an above-the-line deduction for long-term care insurance premiums.”

The ACLI also wants to see LTC insurance included in employer-based cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts, Keating said.

The group also called on lawmakers to make permanent retirement provisions currently set to expire by 2010. These include several pension reforms included in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, allowing for increased savings through IRAs and 401(k) plans and establishing a catch-up provision allowing older workers to contribute greater amounts to their retirement plans.

“We also want Congress to address emerging retirement security issues, such as helping people maintain their standard of living in retirement through lifetime income and educating individuals about managing their savings in retirement,” says Keating.