Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of TIAA-CREF and a member of the Transition Economic Advisory Board assembled by President-elect Barack Obama, includes the following in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:
Encourage health-related savings. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a couple that retires today will need from $200,000 to $635,000 to pay out-of-pocket health-care costs (above Medicare). Few private-sector employers offer workers an account to save for such costs. Last year's agreement among the Big Three automakers and the United Auto Workers to establish tax-free trusts for worker health is an approach gaining favor among academic institutions. Now Congress needs to enable people with these accounts to leave any unused balance to heirs. This will encourage people to hold on to their savings until the last years of their lives, when health-care money is most needed.