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New retirement savings rules announced by Obama administration

The Obama administration has suggested that retirement savings rules need an overahaul.

A proposed set of retirement savings regulations were announced on Friday by Vice President Joe Biden.

The new rules, Biden said, would increase the transparency of savers' portfolios and help them save money by requiring investment advisors to offer unbiased advice.

Biden, for the past year, has been chairing a task force on the middle class. Late last month, the task force released its draft report, which proposed that rules governing 401(k) accounts be changed to bolster workers' retirement savings.

And with the proposed rules announced today, those changes are a step closer to reality.

According to Labor Department deputy secretary Seth Harris, aiding 401(k) accountholders and pension plan members will ensure a more-secure future for millions of workers and help them "make the kind of decisions that are good for their families and the nation as the whole."

One of the two new rules would prevent investment advisors from offering biased advice and would require them to disclose fees. The other rule, slated to go into effect in April, increases the transparency of union- and multiemployer-negotiated retirement plans.

Only about half of American workers have an employer-administered retirement plan, even though saving for retirement is as important to people's financial health as checking their credit reports.