President Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech Tuesday said that despite recovering from one of America’s deepest economic crises, more people still need a “fair shot and opportunity in this new economy,” including more portable retirement savings.

Along with educational and job training opportunities, the president called for more secure and portable benefits. Even if a worker changes jobs more often, “he should still be able to save for retirement and take his savings with him,” he said.

That was a positive message, said Lynn Dudley, senior vice president for global retirement and compensation policy at the American Benefits Council. “We need a benefit system that’s responsive to the changed economy. I think people agree with that, but just maybe disagree on the details on how to get to it.”

Mr. Obama said “that a lot of Americans feel anxious” about the way the economy has been changing. “More wealth and income is concentrated at the very top. All these trends have squeezed American workers,” he said.

But, Mr. Obama said, “after years of record corporate profits, working families won’t get more opportunity or bigger paychecks by letting big banks or big oil or hedge funds make their own rules at the expense of everyone else.”

Mr. Obama did not suggest any particular steps to help the middle class, and acknowledged that partisan differences have made getting things done in Washington harder. “It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency – that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better,” he said.

Source: Pensions & Investments