You can read the Labor and Treasury Departments' Request for Information in the Federal Register. Its main theme is that the private-sector trend is toward defined contribution plans and away from defined benefit plans, and that, for some reason, plan beneficiaries don't choose lifetime annuity products as often as some bureaucrats think they should. So the federal government is looking for ways to promote lifetime annuities.
There are, of course, benefits to such products. There are also drawbacks; most notably, they do not allow the saver to leave money to his children. If you die prematurely, you are just out of luck. In that respect as in others, lifetime annuities look a lot like Social Security. It is not clear why the federal government should be in the business of promoting one form of retirement product over another.
But, while the Request for Information definitely exhibits a paternalistic attitude, it doesn't explicitly say anything about confiscating 401(k) accounts, or about the government taking on the role of annuity issuer.
At this point, I think the best we can say is this: the federal government is desperate for cash, and the biggest untapped source of wealth is the hundreds of billions or trillions of dollars that Americans who are now nearing retirement age have saved over their lifetimes. I don't doubt for an instant that the Obama administration would like to get its hands on this money, which would go a long way toward resolving the current government debt crisis. An obvious way of doing so is to take the money now, in exchange for a promise to pay an "annuity" later. The bottom line is that, given what we know about the Obama administration's rapacious appetite for swallowing up private wealth, anyone who has savings should be vigilant.