"What went wrong? The 401(k) began as a technical adjustment to the tax code, one meant to mostly impact high-earning executives using profit-sharing plans. People like Benna, a benefits consultant, convinced the Reagan administration that the language of the statute allowed for all employees to put aside a portion of their salaries on a tax-deferred basis. It was supposed to supplement corporate pensions. Instead, in something almost no one foresaw, the 401(k) replaced them.
"In 2017, we know that this historic accident isn’t working out for many people."
Helaine Olen at Slate writes that "Life has become too expensive for many of us to save adequately."