The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries recently launched a campaign, called Save My 401(k), which intends to defend retirement plans from congressional budget cuts that could come from the ongoing “fiscal cliff” negotiations or plans for reforms to the tax code in 2013.

“The single most important factor in determining if a worker is saving for retirement is whether or not there is a plan at work,” says Brian Graff, executive director and CEO of ASPPA. “Last time Congress took up tax reform in 1986, employees’ 401(k) plans were cut by 70%, resulting in a mass termination of plans.

Save My 401(k) is a grassroots campaign with a social media arsenal that includes Twitter and Facebook. Its most direct goal: get people to contact their representatives in Washington and urge them to protect the retirement savings tax incentives that encourage businesses to offer 401(k) plans and wage-earners to make use of them.

“We understand Congress needs to reduce the debt and raise revenue, but raiding the tax incentives for 401(k) plans will put American workers’ retirement security at risk,” Graff says. “Tens of millions of Americans participate in these retirement plans, and 80% of them earn less than $100,000 per year. This is a battle that American workers simply can’t afford to lose.”

ASPPA cites data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute that says more than 70% of workers who make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year participate in their employer-sponsored 401(k) plan. Only 5% engage in a retirement savings plan when none is offered at work.

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