While some retirement consultants have begun suggesting guaranteed retirement returns in light of the Enron bankruptcy, that would not be a good idea, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Guaranteed results would lower investment returns, both in good and bad economic times, and limit investment choices, EBRI maintains.

As well, the guarantee would mean higher administrative costs, EBRI adds. In other nations that have guaranteed returns, those guarantees actually shrink during poor economic times, according to EBRI.

"Since some advocates in Congress and elsewhere argue that Enron has demonstrated the need for some sort of insurance' for American workers' 401(k) retirement accounts, it is relevant and informative to explore how other systems have already addressed this issue," said Dallas Salisbury, president and CEO of EBRI.

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