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The Problem With Obama's Plan to Limit Retirement Savings

The administration's plan to cap retirement saving at about $3 million adds a new layer of complication and little benefit
The $3 million-per-person retirement cap will initially impact only a rarefied population.

The $3 million-per-person retirement cap will initially impact only a rarefied population.

Photographer: Tim Klein/Gallery Stock

The White House releases its 2016 budget today, and among other initiatives aimed at raising tax revenue from the richest of the rich, the Obama administration is proposing a cap on how much money a person can have in all of her retirement accounts combined. It suggests a ceiling of more than $3 million per person.

The vast majority of Americans will only ever dream of such a well-padded retirement. Even most of the rich wouldn't hit Obama's cap. In 2011, only one out of every 1,000 Americans had more than $3 million in their retirement accounts, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. But it's not clear how that number will change in the future.