Experts, including some pioneers of the 401(k) savings plans, worry that the current retirement system is not working for many Americans.
More than half of workers — roughly 55 million — don't have access to a retirement plan on the job and 29 percent of households with members age 55 and older don't have a nest egg or a traditional pension plan.
Perhaps a guaranteed mandate would work better, according to an odd couple of retirement system reformers.
Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School, and Hamilton "Tony" James, president and chief operating officer of asset manager Blackstone Group, have proposed replacing 401(k) plans with a guaranteed retirement account run by the federal government and managed by investment firms.
Ghilarducci said she has shared their proposal with officials from President-elect Donald Trump's transaction team and said she thinks the plan offers a public-private solution that could gain bipartisan support.
"The number one priority for many of Trump's voters is retirement security," Ghilarducci said. "This could be a Nixon-goes-to-China moment for Trump."