President Barack Obama says a secure retirement is a critical component of what it means to be middle class in America.

Obama is hosting a conference on aging at the White House Monday. Ahead of the event, he wrote in an editorial for the AARP website about the importance of making sure that a lifetime of hard work is rewarded "with a retirement that is secure and dignified."

The president has asked the Labor Department to crack down on conflicts of interest in the retirement savings advice people may get from financial advisers. He's also put forward proposals to expend access to employer-based retirement savings accounts.