Clinton To Propose Private Pension Changes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Clinton intends to propose next week changes in private retirement programs including Individual Retirement Accounts, 401-K savings plans and employer-sponsored "defined-benefit" plans, White House spokesman Mike McCurry said, Friday.

McCurry said Clinton would unveil the proposals in his State of the Union speech next Tuesday.

McCurry said Clinton would propose ways to make it easier for people to contribute to Individual Retirement Accounts by allowing payroll deductions, and to provide tax credits for small businesses that establish "defined benefit" plans that guarantee future benefits to retired workers.

Referring to the defined-benefit plan changes, McCurry said, "we're doing things to really put more of the risk back onto the employer-provided system in defining a guaranteed future benefit, but making it simpler for employers to provide that kind of pension plan."

He also will make proposals to deal with what McCurry said were problems in 401-K savings plans caused by the current five-year "vesting" period that restricts workers' ability to transfer money when they change employers sooner than that.

Clinton also is to have "very important things" to say about the government's Social Security retirement program, McCurry said.

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