Working to find actionable solutions to the nation's key challenges.

New Legislation Looks to Expand Access to Retirement Plans

By Shai Akabas

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This is the first post in our series about promising proposals to advance retirement security in America. 

According to a recent Gallup survey, not having enough money for retirement is the top concern reported by Americans among all financial matters. Yet public policy has been slow to rise to this challenge: roughly one-third of Americans working in the private sector lack access to a retirement plan at work, a disproportionate share of which are employed by smaller businesses.

Fortunately, a number of promising proposals are emerging and legislative action is underway. For example, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2016 (RESA). Developed through many months of negotiation, the bill incorporated proposals by members of the committee and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings, including allowing certain businesses to pool together to offer workplace retirement plans and facilitating better access to lifetime-income options, such as annuities.

To learn more about pooled employer plans, check out this new BPC issue brief. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional posts in this series that will provide in-depth policy analysis of other promising proposals to advance retirement security in America included in the RESA legislation.

KEYWORDS: 114TH CONGRESS, COMMISSION ON RETIREMENT SECURITY AND PERSONAL SAVINGS, RETIREMENT PROPOSALS, SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE