When Do Governments Steal – Ahem – NATIONALIZE – Retirement Accounts? 

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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices.

As the American debt reaches record levels on a daily basis, currently being in the trillions of dollars and literally impossible for America to ever pay off, there is a very juicy nest egg that politicians are going to begin to eye at some point: retirement accounts.

retirement accounts

By nationalizing retirement accounts, a sudden influx of cash would appear in DC’s coffers, helping to make the country look better on paper and potentially last just a little bit longer.

You may think that the nationalization of retirement accounts would never happen here in America, but there have been a lot of things that have happened over the last few years that we never believed could happen on American soil.

And besides. It’s happened before. 

I’m a firm believer that we can learn from the past to gauge how things may work out in the future. Your parents likely taught you cautionary tales with the hopes that you would learn from their mistakes. They taught you the past with the hopes that you would glean lessons of how the future could turn out if a similar path is followed.

There are plenty of countries that have nationalized retirement accounts, even throughout recent history, just as there are plenty of countries that consider torture to be a regular part of the judicial process.

Let’s take a look at a few of them. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two about the American economy as a result.


It was in 2008 that Argentina nationalized the entire country’s private pension plans – stealing an estimated $30 billion in the process. This took place as the global stock market took a nosedive, and Argentina was bumbling with massive amounts of debt.


In December 2010, the politicians of Hungary told their people that they had two immediate options they could choose: have their retirement accounts confiscated or lose the “right” to the basic state pension. $14 billion in private savings was stolen in this manner.

Just two years prior, Hungary had taken $25 billion from the International Monetary Fund because the nation was so steep in debt that it faced bankruptcy.


Back in 2011, it was reported that Poland had previously discussed a full third of future contributions to private retirement accounts to be stolen and put into the state-run social security system. Then, in 2013, Poland nationalized half of the private pension funds.

There was no “out.” One day you had money that you had earned. The next, it had been stolen from you. $50 billion was stolen from the Poles by their politicians that day.


Again in 2013, during the bailout crisis throughout Europe, the European Union decided that it was high time they bailed out Cyprus. The politicians there hadn’t managed funds well at all, and the nation was deep in debt.

A host of other nations decided that they were going to decide who Cypriots were going to spend their money on (You have to love globalism. Exactly the same as having the house five doors down decide they have the right to decide what your children’s names are.)

To pay for the politician’s inability to wisely manage money, the average Cypriot was left out to dry. Any person in Cyprus with 100,000 or more euros in his account woke up to find that 9.9% of his money had been stolen from him for the bailout. Anybody with less than 100,000 euros in their bank account woke up to find that 6.75% of what they had in their account had been stolen the next morning.

All of this was purposefully done with zero warning whatsoever in order to prevent a run on the banks.

(Check out our free QUICKSTART Guide on emergency evacuations real quick. You’ll be glad you did.)

A close twist on the same issue

Many nations have pushed through similar types of theft but in a different form. These are the nations that already robbed people for a state-run retirement account and then stole that money.


The Irish people have long held my sympathies, but their politicians have not.

We can look back to 2001 to see yet another example of corruption in this nation. It was then that the National Pension Reserve Fund was created so that Irish pensions from 2025-to 2050 would be funded. The Irish were robbed for this state-run scheme.

And then, in November 2010, an Irish bailout took place, and it decided to rob the pension fund. A total of 2.5 billion euros was stolen from the Irish in this manner after their money had already been taken from them once.


Corruption and tyranny are nothing new in France. They have a long history of it. Yet another example that we can point to exhibiting this is how French politicians created a national reserve pension – robbing the Frenchman.

And then, French politicians stole 33 billion euros from this fund and transferred it to the short-term pension scheme instead. If you lived in France and had had your money taken from you to fund your retirement within 2020-2040, your money had just been stolen from you once more to fund the retirements from 2011-2024.

Have we seen similar done in the past in the land of the free? 

Absolutely. Are you familiar with Social Security? That is your money being stolen from you. And how many times have the coffers of the Social Security Administration been raided in order to shore up different deficits throughout the nation? That is your money being stolen from you once again.

We can even see outright confiscation of money in the US if we look at one of the worst presidents America has ever seen: Franklin D. Roosevelt. This communist (literally) stole gold coins from Americans in the 1930s with his unconstitutional/illegal decree.

If we fast-forward to the 1990s, we can see that Clinton’s gang discussed the idea of stealing 15% of private retirement accounts as well as stealing 15% of all new contributions to private retirement accounts. This was also the time period when we saw Agenda 21 first introduced within the US. Do these things take 30 years to gather steam?

My point is that you shouldn’t dismiss this as an idea simply because the last you heard of it in the mainstream media was long ago.

What are the common denominators that we see with the nationalization of retirement accounts, though? 

When did we see the nationalization of retirement accounts in those other nations? While one could easily write a book examining the intricacies involved within each nation before they nationalize the currency, I do think that there are a couple of broad generalizations that can be applied (at the risk of over-simplifying things).

  • These nations were in deep debt. Things had gotten so bad that bailouts were discussed, if not outright bankruptcy.
  • The capitols had screwed up, and now they were going to screw the people. We saw politicians who were incapable of properly managing others’ money, finally faced the ‘uh oh’ moment, and then scrambled to find a solution. It would be interesting to see how these politicians’ retirement accounts fared during their money grabs.
  • Strong signs of collectivist thought existed within these nations. In what other ideology does one come to believe that theft is acceptable? When you quit thinking of men as individuals, you quit thinking of them as human beings. And when you quit thinking of those around you as human beings, atrocities become acceptable.

This is most certainly not an exhaustive list of factors, and the above isn’t even an exhaustive list of countries that have nationalized retirement accounts (e.g., Soviet Russia, anyone?). But it is food for thought.

Do we see those three principles currently within the United States? 

Is America in debt? Undoubtedly, yes. More so than we’ve ever been before. We deliberately destroyed our economy via lockdowns, money printing, and stimulus checks. The supremacy of the dollar as a world reserve currency officially ended this month.

There’s no way around it.

  • America is deeply in debt.
  • Is this due to politicians refusing/being unable to manage money? That’s the only way that countries go broke, isn’t it?
  • And lastly, do we see strong signs of collectivist thought within the United States? Again, I would say this is a resounding ‘yes.’

We have a statue of Stalin standing in Seattle. We’ve talked of making college free and “forgiving” all student loans. We already have nationalized healthcare. We already have a form of nationalized retirement (Social Security). We just decided to rob the American people of their money and then send it in the form of aid to Ukraine. How is it that Bernie Sanders is even allowed to be a politician in the United States? Communist shock troops engaged in widespread arson, looting, murder, and beatings throughout the US have already demonstrated their capabilities.

What is it that public school teachers and public university professors espouse? Collectivist thought.

Given all this, how long do you think that your retirement account is safe? How long until the money you’ve earned with your time, energy, and talents is stolen from you?

And if that’s the case, where is your money safe?

Is this a concern for you? How are you protecting your money? Do you think it could happen here? Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

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Aden Tate

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  • So invest in tangible assets. Brass, silver, seeds, tools books, your community. If you want to save put it in an analog safe away from your house. Purchase land at least 5 acres no restrictions. Fence it, don’t get behind on taxes, let people laugh and shake their heads. Hold the line, teach your kids and grands, family is the first unit of strength. Love the Lord. Hold your family dear,we are meant to survive this. We must prepare to thrive.

  • “And if that’s the case, where is your money safe?“

    Tough question. Certainly it’s individual. Definitely not one size fits all.

    My personal portfolio is structured thusly: LLFFMM

    Land, Livestock, Food, Fuel, Machinery, Metals

    Listed in my particular order of importance. It was a good enough investment plan for my great grandfather, so it’s good enough for me.

    I sincerely pray that confiscation of private pensions never happens in USA. Just thinking about it gives me a cold feeling in my stomach.

    • My prayer is that the confiscation of private pensions is not followed by the confiscation of private lands.

  • Why anyone would have a house payment, car payment or any unsecured debt AND have a retirement account is beyond me. Be debt free first. Then, you’ll probably realize you don’t need that unrewarding “career”, find a job you enjoy and live a life you can fully appreciate-because you have no debt.

  • If you believe that your IRA and your 401K are safe and ready for your retirement, then just take a look at all the other thousands of ways your government takes your assets away from you and then come back and tell me that your retirement is safe.

  • The term “retirement savings” conceals the more important concept of its purchasing power. As long as governments via central bank systems have no restraints on unlimited counterfeiting of their currencies … purchasing power will be stolen from the owners of their retirement savings and transferred into the hands of the first receivers of such counterfeited funds. That happens before such funds have had the time needed to push up prices to make life a lot more miserable for the later receivers who face huge price increases. It’s called the Cantillon Effect.

    In the 1600s England learned this lesson when their king (to fund his favorite wars) raised published taxes way above what the population was comfortable with. The result was the torches and pitchforks came out and the king was beheaded.

    Seeking to avoid such defeats, in 1694 the Bank of England was created as a central bank to issue and control the quantity of money. That way it could be counterfeited so the government could steal its purchasing power for its bureaucratic ambitions while the vast majority of the population would never understand how they were being robbed. This was in contrast to the death penalties previously given to European goldsmiths who would occasionally counterfeit the receipts they issued to owners of gold who would use such goldsmiths as a repository for their gold. Such receipts would serve as one form of money. Guilty goldsmiths didn’t have central governments to shield them from angry and defrauded depositors.

    During our American Revolution … uncontrolled money printing was done by both sides. The colonial congress was desperate to fund their war and the British were trying simultaneously to destroy the American currency — called “continentals.” Such efforts resulted in situations where a wagonload of currency wouldn’t buy a wagonload of food from local farmers. The phrase “not worth a continental” found its way into our history books.

    Memories of such near starvation likely found their way into the death penalty of Section 17 in the American 1792 Coinage Act which forbid the creation of coinage made from anything other than gold or silver.

    In the 1700s the founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty said that he could control a nations currency, he could care less about whatever laws they might pass. (That’s not verbatim.)

    Skipping over the first two central bank efforts in the US, the British were desperate to sucker America into coming on their side into the European civil war on the horizon (World War I). They secretly shipped money here for the 1912 election to fund a Ross Perot style 3rd party election run so that Teddy Roosevelt would suck enough votes away from candidate Taft to assure the British favorite, Woodrow Wilson, would win. They were sure that he would be willing to sign off on the coming Federal Reserve Act, the income tax, etc, etc. That strategy worked, and since then the Federal Reserve’s theft of purchasing power from the US dollar has been in the high 90% range to this day.

    So much for having any confidence in one’s retirement savings when the heavily counterfeited US dollar (soon to go all-digital) has had much of its purchasing power regularly stolen by unaccountable government and central bank collusion ever since 1913.


  • My husband is of the mindset we need money in the bank as an emergency fund…so of the Dave Ramsey way. How would we handle emergencies if we take all our money out and invest in land, metals, etc?

    • You don’t take all of it out. Keep enough in your account to handle both expected expenses and unexpected expenses that pop up. Keep a stash at home, too, for times when making withdrawals from the bank or an ATM may not be possible, such as after some regional disaster causing widespread power outages.

    • Taking all your money out sends up a red flag IMHO. And since when does this site auto-fill name/email?

      • It appears Daisy switched to a different comments plug-in for WP.
        Try switching IP addys before commenting.

  • This reminds me of a line from a Nazi War Crimes Trial movie about the Holocaust: ‘If we didn’t know about it, it was because we didn’t want to know about it’. We didn’t want to know about how our money was being debased because it was too difficult for us to understand (at least that’s what THEY told us).

  • All governments are prone to corruption and if people are not constantly observant all governments become corrupt. The US government is deeply corrupt. They usually steal in dribs and drabs but will steal wholesale if they think they can, and they will. Private wealth is the last Golden Goose and the crooks will be coming for it while spewing all sorts of false propaganda rationalizing it to the gullible public. We will be promised guaranteed annual incomes paid for by the government. Those with no pensions will be all in favor while those against the theft will be characterized as selfish and unpatriotic.

    • Yes – like we might be stuck paying the college debt of all those lawyers now earning upwards of $200,000 a year…

      One good thought: all through history the peasants attacked the elites during famine. Is that the reason for the underground cities???

  • it is quite a concern, and yes, it probably will happen the way things are going….but having a retirement acct, theres no way to access that money without being hit with a humongous tax bill! I would take all mine out right now just to have it, then see what I need to do with it, as mentioned…tangibles…..but the tax would be outrageous…..so what else to do? this whole thing scares me silly, worked hard all our lives, lived decently, etc, and they can take it all away in a minute, next day boom! every penny GONE…you have nothing to live on, too decrepit to go back to work, no job anyway, no way to get to it, and so on…..if you’re still fairly young and mobile, do what you can now….I’ve planned as well as possible, but when the shtf, I probably wont make it…..

  • “When money speaks, truth is silent.”

    – Source unknown, but it *could* be from the B*den crime family

  • If you transfer a 401k to all gold and silver held in a vault for you, can they take all or part of that, too?

    • It doesn’t matter what you have or where you have it–if the government can find it, they can (and will) take it! If your gold and silver in that vault is in a bank, it is GONE–ask for home delivery of bullion from your 401k administrator, then divide it into 2 or 3 of those big gun safes, and only leave one bolted to the joists and walls of your home and “hidden” where it can be found; hide the others where you can find them and they can’t. FEMA regulations say that in an emergency, they have the right to seize any personal assets they deem necessary. That includes all your food, water, fuel, batteries, guns, ammo, clothes, tools–ANYTHING, including your house and all your gold and silver (to help them finance the “emergency recovery,” you know).
      Anything you keep at home is easier to hide, but if they KNOW you have something, and they want it and can’t find it, they will destroy your house, car, barn, drain your pond, dig up your yard, whatever you have, until they do find it.

      • True enough…but I can’t help but wonder…..when that happens, it seems like it won’t be an isolated one or two type situations…..and how many Americans will go down fighting vs. allowing them to seize anything.

    • In general, if the guv know about it, they can steal it. They know what is in official 401K’s or other retirement accounts or in vaults. Or they know where the vaults are and good luck getting your family photos or whatever back after the gov stole all your bank’s vaults.
      Right now, could prove best (or not) to take the tax hit and hide your retirement assets where the guv can’t see it.
      Many people are selling their smart phones these days and getting dumb phones after finding out a little of how Big Guv/Big Tech misuse the data they get in amazing ways.
      This world, only certainty is death, but you can improve your odds by hiding your food stores, supplies, funds as much as you can.

    • Well they’ll definitely tax you out the rear and if you’re under 59.5 there’s an extra 10% penalty. There are exceptions where one could get the penalty waived but it will always be taxed as ordinary income for that year. My suggestion would be to calculate how much you can withdraw to stay within your current tax bracket to minimize the tax withholding. You may need to withdraw over several years if possible. I work in finance and mostly with the elderly. It’s simply heartbreaking to see them struggling to pay their bills. What some don’t realize when they’re investing in a traditional IRA is once you turn 72 you’re forced to withdraw a portion every year or they’ll penalize you for that too. The average middle class person will run out of money or at least struggle before they die. I speak with many who live on $20,000 or less per year. It’s just really sad.

  • A little bit to de-dramatize at least the Hungarian part of the article: in 1998 the socialist government ruled the mandatory privately managed pillar start, for the young first-employees. During the next few years, the things didn’t went very well. First, the increase of capital was not as big as expected and the government realized that the mandatory entry of young life-starting people is questionnable.
    Some people – including myself – didn’t like much that we were forced to enter to a mandatory privately manged company. The system may be OK, but the forced joinig of a pensions company is not fancy. I don’t think that you guys in the US would have like this. Neither did I.

    After a while, as the article mentions, in 2010 (I was in my early thirties), people were asked to step back to the mandatory publicly managed pillar. However, the article did not mention, that, for example, the voluntary pillar was not touched at all, only the mandatory privately managed companies. So anybody who made a future investment in a voluntary pillar company, was safe.
    Plus, when there were some marketing campaign against the 2010 decision on behalf of the mandatory privately managed companies alliance, this alliance for example could not explain how they funded the protest campaign (no, they surely didn’t use my money paid in, not at all).

    So, I know it sounds weird but I was actually glad to step back to the publicly managed pillar and to stop my account in the mandatory privately managed pillar. The state – statistically speaking – grants your pension (well, in most of the cases… in general…). The companies will steal that big hat of money (google for Baumag-scandal or Quaestor-scandal – the financial let’s-steal-that-big-pile-of-money kind of corruption has a long tradition in Hungary but, sad to say, the victims were mostly financially uneducated, greedy people). I started a voluntary pillar account in my early thirties, and I am OK with that.

    Everybody who stepped back to the state system, received the interest real sum of the mandatory privately managed account. I know it’s not many and it’s not an excuse, but, again, I am glad that the decision was made in 2010. But, nevertheless, I am sorry for those people who lost a lot of money – especially older people – due to the government decision. Actually, some people stayed in, and they made it well: when they became old age pensioners, they received the 100% state pension (under certain circumstances) and received the one-sum payment of millions of HUF. It wasn’t that bad.

    So, a voluntary pillar pensions company is still safer (as this is paid from a taxed net income) than the mandatory privately managed one. If a PM turns into a dictator, then the whole thing is totally irrelevant. Gold will be seized, guns will be seized and so on.

  • We can’t take our money out of IRA as employer offered. Would transitioning it to metals protect it? I thoroughly believe our govt will raid retirement as well bank accounts

    • If you’re fully vested in your 401k, you usually can’t move it or change it until you leave the company, or if they change to a different 401k account, when you can opt out and roll it over to your personal IRA that you will self-administer. When you do, you can roll it over into a gold or silver metals account and have the physical bullion delivered to your home without any tax penalties–where you can store it in your own safe, hidden next to your crates of food, water, ammo and weapons. Shop for a reputable company whose rollovers to physical metal is legal and meets the regulations for tax-free rollover of a 401K into an IRA with physical metal. It’s legally tricky but it can be done.

  • I doubt it will come to this as they have much more effective ways to steal from the people they’re supposed to serve. Between inflation, increased interest rates, reduction of the Fed balance sheet due to all of the money printing (about $9 trillion), and stock market malaise as a result of all this, you’ll see wages stay stagnant while prices go up and investment/retirement account balances stay where they are now at best (and possibly go down – a lot). In other words, you won’t have to worry about them stealing your retirement account because there won’t be anything left worth stealing by the time they’re done!

  • Now, we have noted how American’s are somewhat of the sheeple kind when it came to various things, like abiding by the COVID mandates/lockdowns.
    However, we also have seen the recent TOP article about the damage those same mandates/lockdowns have done to young children.

    Hungry people are not all that rational, especially when it comes to their children or families.

    Then start messing with their money or property?

    To quote Captain Malcolm Reynolds: “I start fightin’ a war, I guarantee you’ll see somethin’ new.”

  • “In what other ideology does one come to believe that theft is acceptable? When you quit thinking of men as individuals, you quit thinking of them as human beings. And when you quit thinking of those around you as human beings, atrocities become acceptable.”

    actually this is backwards. the first step is not “thinking of them as human beings”. all the rest follows naturally, and “theft” becomes simple resource harvesting. does the farmer think of himself as stealing from his cattle? no. neither do they think they’re stealing from you – rather, they calculate their actions based on how much they can harvest from you right now versus what will keep you working for them in the future.

    “where is your money safe?”

    well, first, it’s not “money”. it’s debt. for every dollar the “federal” “reserve” prints, you owe them $1.10 or so. it’s a pyramid scheme, always has been. second, it’s not yours. its theirs, they can change or recall or cancel it any time they wish. they simply let you borrow it, for a fee.

    • I and many others experienced government theft of property in the early 90s when they decided to make a public trail through the hills using a long abandoned and destroyed railroad bed. The general public was in favor of this theft and supported it wholeheartedly. We fought and we lost. Our small ranch (with one full mile of trail through it) quickly became a circus of sorts. I learned a very sad and valuable lesson at that time. You see, I always knew that any politician could become a tyrant, but I never quite realized they could enjoy such support and praise from the public. It is imperative that we are aware of this, especially now when it is in massive overdrive.

      Psalm 4:6 “There be many that say, ‘Who will show us any good?’ Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us.”

  • Where would one’s money be safe. I think nowhere. The Bible says as the end time comes, those who are faithful will be unable to buy or sell.

    Many say to buy gold, but all the gov has to do is declare it to be illegal to own precious metals, and they’ll confiscate that. Anyway, this is all part of the global move to eliminate money, and make it all electronic. Then they can allow you to use it, or take it from you, or deny you access.

    Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    • This is true. We can do what we are able, but we must trust in the Lord for guidance as the days grow darker.

      Isaiah 30:21 “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it,’ when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”

  • With the US gov’t destruction of cash via inflation, it makes no sense to keep the majority of your savings in dollars, either in or out of banks or IRA accounts. Put those dollars to work while they still have some purchasing power left. Official inflation figures are bullhockey. A sheet of OSB particle board from Menards is 3 to 5 times as expensive as the same item 2 years ago, and the price keeps going up. Anything you need in the coming years – if you have the money, get it now. IRA distribution taxes? You’ll have to pay them anyway, just take the hit and be done with it.

  • I would have really enjoyed some potential solutions to the problem outlined in this article.

  • To protect your money, use a portion of it to buy machine guns, SMGs and more from your local gangbanger, then use said weapons against politicians and their enforcers so as to send a message to them. Rinse and repeat for anyone who tries to pass any bills related to nationalizing your property, accounts, etc.

  • i enjoy the ‘daisy’ comments…but this is puzzeling…i tried to open this iste and it is listed as ‘400 not found’ what gives?..


    • We had a couple of hosting issues last week – you may have been checking at just the wrong moment. So sorry for the inconvenience!

  • agree with the article, but the question remains….WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? NOTHING!!!! they keep stealing money from us but we cant stop it or do anything about it!

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