Retirement savings, tax policy, and financial regulation

Vanguard focuses its government relations efforts around three primary issues: retirement savings, tax policy, and financial services regulation. Jerry Golden of Vanguard’s Government Relations Office discusses his team’s efforts on these issues.

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Talli Sperry: For now, I’m actually going to go to Patrick’s [from Kansas City] question. Jerry, I’m going to ask you this. “What are the top three concerns that Vanguard has regarding government policy?”

Jerry Golden: As you can imagine, I think those kinds of concerns tend to be constantly reevaluated. They evolve with the times that we’re in and the needs that we face on behalf of investors and, really, what Congress and regulators and the administration might be up to at a given point in time.

I think if I were to name three, I’d probably put them into three general buckets. One would be retirement savings related, and that can reach to items like making sure enough Americans have coverage, they have access to retirement savings opportunities, that they have adequacy within their retirement savings plans, whether that’s on the retail side or through their employer. And just to make sure they’re getting the right kind of advice for those long-term savings needs.

Another bucket would be tax policy. And, as you can imagine, a lot of what Vanguard’s been focused on over time from tax policy is to make sure that investment opportunities are not harmed by tax-making decisions, that the tax incentives for items like retirement savings and for college savings are protected. Tax policy is keeping in mind how important it is for American families to be investing and to be saving.

The third one, I think, would be financial services regulation broadly. There are so many different items within that bucket, but I’d say systemic risk is one example, on a global and domestic scale. And making sure that regulations we see today are effective. We want them to be robust because we want them to protect investors, but we also want them to be efficient. I think we try to look for ways we can flag for regulators that one regulation or another could use improvement in order to meet their intended goals.

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