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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

President's Weekly Radio Address

Aired October 19, 2002 - 10:54   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Good morning.

I want to discuss with you steps we are taking to help strengthen the retirement security of America's workers.

More than 40 million Americans save for retirement through 401(k) accounts, making regular contributions and building economic security over a lifetime. A 401(k) provides a chance to invest in the long- term growth of the American economy and an opportunity to build wealth and independence.

Today's workers own more than $1.5 trillion in assets through their 401(k)s. Younger workers have an average of about $10,000 in their accounts, while workers near retirement hold closer to $100,000 in their 401(k)s. This is real money for real workers, and we must do all we can to help make sure it's there for them when they retire.

Turbulence in the financial markets reminds us that every investment carries some risk. Yet American workers also have rights which must be respected and enforced.

I've made five common-sense proposals to help protect the retirement savings of American workers:

First, every worker should get 30-days advance notice before any blackout period, the time when they cannot sell, buy or borrow from their 401(k)s.

Second, corporate executives should have to follow the same rules that every other employee must follow during blackout periods. If you can't sell on the shop floor, you should not be able to sell on the top floor.

Third, workers should be able to sell their company stock after holding it for three years, so that no one's nest egg is tied up in the stock of a single company.

Fourth, investors...

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