July 23, 2009
I ask that you oppose S. B. 1.
I am a constituent and a financial planner. While I support efforts to increase financial awareness and help individuals prepare for retirement, this legislation would adversely affect thousands of small business owners such as third-party administrators and independent financial advisors, like myself, who are already suffering due to the current economic crisis.
Most individuals already have access to tax-preferred Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs and Roth IRAs) to which they can generally contribute up to $5,000 annually. These accounts are widely offered and can be easily opened at most banks or financial institutions. Small companies can also take advantage of low-cost SIMPLE IRAs that do not entail the significant compliance burdens of traditional 401(k) plans.
Rather than appropriate taxpayer money to fund a new, untested and untried retirement program, money would better spent educating citizens about federally-supported retirement options already in place
The Madoff and other Ponzi schemes resulted from a lack of aggressive enforcement by the SEC and FINRA of current rules and ignoring repeated warnings from the media and whistle blowers. The SEC should hold FINRA accountable for its shared oversight of Bernie Madoff in conducting the Ponzi scheme for decades as a broker-dealer before registering two years ago as an investment adviser.