Skip to comments.How the US Government Will Seize Your Retirement Account
Posted on 05/12/2011 8:25:48 AM PDT by blam
How the US Government Will Seize Your Retirement Account
By Simon Black
May 12, 2011
Following in the footsteps of a rather ignominious list of nations like Argentina and Hungary, the government of lreland is set to take its 'fair share' of private retirement funds.
Drowning in debt and faced with unpopular, unrealistic, ridiculously unpopular austerity measures, the government has announced that it will now tax private pension savings in order to raise 470 million euros (roughly $675 million) per year... a lot of money in a country of only 4.4 million people.
Somehow, the government expects to be able to create 100,000 jobs to bring down an unemployment rate at 14.7%. Perhaps they plan on hiring 100,000 new workers to go around the country and collect the tax.
It reminds me of what I saw in Bolivia a couple of weeks ago-- there's a tax or toll or fee for nearly everything you do. Driving on the highway (if you can call it that) outside of Santa Cruz, you pay a toll... obviously not for the maintenance of the road, but to pay the salary of the toll collector.
At the airport, you have to pay an airport tax before departure... obviously not for the upkeep and efficiency of the airport (it took 2-hours to make it to my gate), but to pay the salaries of the guys who collect the airport tax.
This is what politicians consider 'job creation,' yet these positions only serve to destroy value. That they would stick up the retirement funds of hard working people is even more immoral.
Here's the best part, though. If you are a government worker in Ireland, your pension is exempt. They're only going after people in the private work force. It's truly disgusting logic to force private workers to pay for years of political incompetence while absolving government employees.
Coincidentally, there are a few other loopholes as well, particularly for non-residents and non-resident funds. Apparently those Irish who saw the writing on the wall and got busy moving themselves and their assets offshore will get to keep all of their savings.
Ireland is not the first country to call this play, nor will it be the last. Pension funds are attractive targets for politicians who have wide eyes and the most carnal thoughts at the site of any large pool of cash.
Think it can't happen where you live? Think again. Late last year, the French government went through an elaborate process to change its pension laws, 'legally' allowing politicians to steal retirement funds from the public in order to pay off other debts.
In the US, public pensions have been raided for years, Congress routinely 'borrows' from Social Security to make up budget shortfalls. This is what talking heads mean when they play down concerns of a $14 trillion debt "because we owe it to ourselves--" $4.6 trillion of the debt is owed to intragovernmental agencies like Social Security.
Chances of this money being repaid to Social Security in full? Slim. The trend is more debt, not paying off existing debt. In fact, I'm convinced that politicians have their eyes firmly fixed on the trillions of dollars in private, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in the United States to fund new spending.
Here's how it will go down:
First, there will be some event... some sort of financial cataclysm, similar to the market meltdown we saw in 2008 after Lehman.
Bear in mind that most IRAs are managed by boneheads at big financial institutions; they get compensated not based on the performance of their portfolio, but on the total amount of assets under management. Your interests and their interests do not align.
As such, most IRAs are callously tossed into S&P index funds or some such generic vehicle, citing the safety of broader market diversification, as if that nonsense they teach in MBA finance classes is how the real world actually works.
When a big crash occurs, these unhedged broad market positions get hammered the most. Don't worry though, your fund manager will still get a big fat bonus check, because his performance is irrelevant.
This is when Congress will step in. Citing its desire to 'protect' the American people from future market shocks, the politicians will mandate that a portion of all managed retirement funds be invested in the 'safety and security' of US Treasury bonds. And, just to be on the safe side, let's park them in 30-year bonds that yield 4.35%.
Sound fair? Well who asked you anyways... just be a good citizen and turn over your money already. The important part is that the big financial institutions still get their big fat fees, and the government gets its hands on the mother lode.
This is how US taxpayers will end up being forced to loan their hard earned retirement savings to the government at rates far below any expected inflation.
Right now, there is a window of opportunity to take action; US taxpayers with retirement accounts can set up a special kind of IRA structure that allows you to take control of your retirement savings, and even ship it offshore if you want to, completely legitimately.
After taking control of your IRA, you can do any number of things-- buy and store gold and silver coins overseas; hold foreign currencies in an offshore bank account; buy securities on international stock exchanges; purchase agricultural property overseas, or even a beautiful apartment on the beach in some sunny country.
The possibilities are incredible... but the most important thing is that you get this retirement money off the radar of the politicians before they pull an Ireland and announce some new measure, virtually overnight. These things can happen very, very quickly.
I've talked about this before a number of times, and every time I read the news of yet another country taking this approach, it serves as a reminder to take action.
( You can read more about it here.)
I think it would be avisable to get all money out of the country right now. These guys will not stop until they take everything you have.
The government is in a pool of quicksand and will grab everything it can to try to stay afloat. It won’t work, and everything they grab will be taken down into the quicksand with them.
I hate the government the way it is “constructed” (or thrown together) every day.
Hopefully this all controlling monster can eventually be contained. Otherwise, it eventually eats us all.
Make no mistake.
My advice is to look at your tax situation and do a 401k if it is beneficial. Otherwise just take the income and convert it into a personal savings account of gold, lead, stainless steel, silver, etc. I would choose the best crafted items of those materials to keep their value. Personally I like Morgans for silver and indian heads for gold, but I have other stuff that only has melt valuee.
I am going to hide my rocking chair and fishin pole! They are my retirement account.
A Black Hole. The Bates Hotel. Your assets check in but they don’t check out.
Wat happens when they no money left to tax? None!
If we stick with Obama, he'll have us all wearing potatoes the size of diamonds.
Okay, I’ll move my millions to a secret bank account in the Bahamas. Thanks for the tip.
The government seizing my retirement account is a big concern of mine. With that said, this discussion came up between me and my friend who works for the Army Corp of Engineers (Captain). He told me that the federal government tried to take over federal employees 401K’s back in ‘95 or ‘96 (I think) when it was in a tight about to hit the budget cap, and the issue went to federal court and the court came down on the side of the federal employees and prevented the government from taking over their accounts. He said with that judicial precedent set, in his opinion, it would be near impossible for the feds to take over all our IRA’s, 401K’s, etc. That’s the first I’ve heard of that issue and wonder if we have other FReeper’s that can confirm or refute this.
and the "rioting" or leisure class that voted in droves for this administration will vote to take the retirement funds of the rich because they never take responsibility and never saved a dime
Did the RATs actually craft legislation to do just that or did they just talk about it?
They’ll just get a different judge. Once they are willing to pervert the legal system there is no stopping them.
Thanks but I wish it weren’t true.
How do you keep a country together when one half wants a gigantic nanny state that gives them everything, and the other half wants a government of reasonable size and to be left the heck alone? It’s worse than that, because people on both sides are conflicted about what they want and can’t let go of some utopian ideal.
Politicians have made promises to create that utopia. And people were foolish enough to believe and trust them.
I am sure you remember the Democrat National Convention in 1984 (IIRC) where none other than Jesse Jackson made a big speech extolling the idea of taxing pensions and retirement accounts. It is a prize they have had their eyes upon for some time now.
Of course, the obvious corollary to this would be for Boehner to propose and pass legislation to utterly prevent seizure or taxation of these types of funds. Call it the Safe Retirement Act. Make the ‘rats vote against such a measure. Make the Dear Leader veto it.
I always have this nagging suspicion in the back of my mind that America’s scumbag politicians always have the nagging understanding in the backs of their minds that some people in this country take the Second Amendment very, very seriously. That, at least, slows them down a little.
They have been taking 8.6% a year out of both wife & my paychecks for a good many years for our retirement plans. Trouble is the only way I can move it is by moving out of state or retiring; figure we are further ahead by working until we die. The buggers got all of us by the balls. It will still upset quite a few Americans if the govt steals several hundred thou from each & everybody's 401s.
I like the way you think!
Hells Bells! You’ve got a rocking chair and a fishin pole?? You’re a rich white guy, huh?! Tax him!
This is how the elites will attempt to “keep their balls in the air” before the whole house of cards collapses.
Time to convert dollars to fungible gold and silver. My family hedged into gold silver years ago so we’re sitting pretty and the people who derided folks like us as ‘gold bugs’ are wishing they’d listened when gold was around $300 an ounce and silver could be had for $3.50 an ounce.
See the Beatles Taxman....they will tax the air.
The sad part of this is that people will absolutely flock to the polls to support a decision like that. After the crash in 2008 I had more clients than I could shake a really big stick at crying for precisely this kind of “protection”. The foundation is already in place; the government has been bashing “big business” for more than 2 years and even on sites like this I’m seeing fanatical ravings against “corporate abuses”.
Don’t they already tax these funds when they are withdrawn? And if you took all of your money out and did something else with it, wouldn’t you be taxed?
What happens if all taxpayers are dead and only government workers are left, will the government survive?
I don't think they will directly take it. Instead, look for them to require all future payments to the plan to be put in a government "secured" type of trust with a "guaranteed" payout. If that sounds like Social Security II, it should.
Current funds will have a "grace period" where the owner can withdraw the funds and pay the income taxes on the immediately.
Just think what would happen to tax revenues, if every American suddenly opted to pay taxes on his or her 401(k) and 403(b) accounts.
If they take mine, they had better be prepared to die for I will go to war over this.
I’m thinking that converting IRA’s to gold, silver and lead might be a great idea. Doing so quickly and keeping it below the radar are the issues.
That act meet very little resistance. The IRA money will be the opposite. Why? The money in the various IRA programs aren't orphans that can be used for the general good. Each dollar is linked to a specific person and there is an audit trail to prove it.
When this happens, not “if”, it will be largest robbery every attempted. I call it robbery because that is exactly what it is. It will be the largest not because of the dollars involved but in the number of victims. And, the chance of a class action lawsuit to recover real, not imaginary, damages will never happen. After all, the Federal Government is immune to such legal activity, ain't it? Just ask them to find out.
When you become convinced that the government has succeeded in making gold and silver worthless, please send me all you have. Gold and silver have never been worthless and, even when ownership became illegal, it still changed hands for value transactions.
What exactly do you plan on doing with a sharpened torch or a lit pitchfork?
Welcome to California
Kinda surprised Obama hasn’t done this yet; no doubt after he wins a second term he’ll start grabbing savings and pensions.
Back in 1993, Clinton’s Secretary of HHS, Donna Shalala, wanted to retroactively tax 401(k)’s to “capture” all the tax money lost to Federal Government. Clinton, not wanting to be a dead cert, slam dunk one term president told her to STFU.
Any legal precedent (not based on Constitutional issues) would immediately be superseded by new legislation. When the Rats are hungry enough they will gnaw on whatever meat is available.
Excellent idea. That’s the way the other side plays. Beat them at their own game....plus it’s a damned good law!
Unfortunately, tens of millions of hard working Americans will be financially gang raped by the government.
So, we'd better hope that there's not any RINO's in the House that like the taste of meat, so to speak, should it come to that.
So what do retirees do? They have spent a lifetime saving and building a portfolio for retirement. They count on those investments paying a small "dividend" to them each month and that is what they will live on during retirement.
So if they turn the whole or most of the portfolio into gold and silver, there will be no "dividend" each month. So what will they live off of? Trading the gold/silver for food, rent/mortgage, taxes will deplete the funds long before they are old enough to die.
I can tell you stories about the things we gave up all our lives while we watched our friends and neighbors all having them (fancy cars, bigger house, luxury boats, expensive vacations and clothes, and on and on) .... so that we could build a nice size retirement portfolio to live off of modestly in retirement and not be a burden on welfare or our kids. Now we face the government just taking it all. What kind of incentive to work hard and save will this leave the next generations?
An "IRA" is designated by U.S. Tax Code, and certain reporting requirements must be made--which is why some investors can actually deduct their annual IRA contributions.
So I don't buy this story one bit--your IRA can invest in most of these things today, even "off-shore" investments. It's just when you diversify, or go to cash out these investments, you can be pretty sure that Uncle Same will want his share of the results.
OK, anyone know how to do what the article dcescribes, without buying the guy’s book?
I guess if all the park service guys all came up missing and our fed govt ceased to exist, complete anarchy; gold would be the read deal; but until then (and I really do believe that scenario is a long ways off) the feds are going to really control Gold. Nice to have a bunch of, deal with friends under the table, but it really doesn't do the long term deal the stock market does for pensions.
I guess what I'm saying is if the govt ever gets serious about stopping everybody from possessing gold, it will be pretty much worthless until the govt collapses.
Maybe I'll be spending my summers out with a dredge in a couple years, but so far easier ways to make a living for us.