Today’s last-minute negotiations on raising the nation’s borrowing limit could impact 401(k)s, Roth retirement vehicles and more, if similar past showdowns give any indication. Bob Christenson, partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP, says he’s seen these debates on the Hill before and past lessons show that employee benefits could be impacted when the conversation turns to raising revenue through taxes.

“There may be more of a restriction on 401(k) plan contributions because they’ve done that in the past,” says Christenson, of the firm’s Atlanta office. “Everyone talks about limits on Roth contributions and the secret behind all that was — that was a revenue raising measure, too.” He also says he wouldn’t be surprised if lawmakers “tinker” with ways to make distributions on retirement savings vehicles easier because again, that would be a tax increase.

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