I have said for a long time that the system here will be held together until "they" take every last crumb of wealth away from the middle class. "They" being the people who control the system - i.e. big banks in conjunction with big government. The multi-trillion dollar retirement asset pool will be just too tempting for our politicians NOT to tap into and I'm sure Wall Street already has made noises about how to go about doing it so that Wall Street can keep making money off of it. As the explained in the commentary I've linked below, the Government has already plundered the Social Security trust, taking the money that was in there and writing IOU's - exchanging the funds and putting Treasury bonds in the Trust. So why does anyone possibly want to believe that the Governent will leave private retirement funds alone? That's either naivete or denial.
With regard to this whole matter, here is a quote from the blog mentioned above that nicely sums up the predicament you all are in:
Chances of this money being repaid to Social Security in full? Slim. The trend is more debt, not paying off existing debt. In fact, I’m convinced that politicians have their eyes firmly fixed on the trillions of dollars in private, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) in the United States to fund new spending.Here is the LINK - it's an excellent read. I say "you all" because starting in 2006, I have moved all of my IRA money into physical gold and silver and if I don't want to pay any taxes on the use of it I can move to Utah, which recently passed a law which exempts gold and silver used as currency from taxation.
If you are still skeptical that this will happen in this country, I would like to point out that there have already been hearings in Congress in which academic and banking professionals presented their ideas on why it makes sense to require that all retirement fund assets should be moved into a trust that is funded by Treasuries and uses the interest on the trust to annuitize everyone's retirement payout. If you play around with google you can probably find the actual press releases which describe those hearings (I lost my links when my laptop blew up over the summer).
The best part about the situation in Ireland is that Government employees are exempt from the taxes being levied on retirement funds. I would expect the same thing to happen here given the huge fight being waged right now across the country to preserve 100% of public employee pay and benefits. It's okay to plunder the private the wealth but the Government and its drones are sacred!
One last point. I personally do not believe that you can avoid overt or de facto compensation of your retirement funds by moving them offshore, as the blogger above recommends. I think anything that has an electronic trail will be fair game, open season. The ONLY way you can preserve your hard-earned wealth is to move as much of it as you can "off the grid." And the only way I know of to do that is to convert your paper largesse into gold and silver.