Washington, D.C.– Today, the House Ways and Means Committee took a meaningful step towards improving the U.S. retirement security system by reporting out the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 on a bipartisan basis.
Congressional consideration of retirement savings reform has been building now for several years. This latest legislation contains many overlapping provisions with the earlier Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA), a version of which was just reintroduced in the Senate. Several of the provisions in both bills align with the recommendations of BPC’s Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings.
“Many of the provisions in this legislation are overdue, with longstanding bipartisan support,” said Shai Akabas, BPC’s director of economic policy. “Even during this time of elevated partisanship, retirement security remains an area where the two parties can work across the aisle and improve financial outcomes for millions of Americans.”
BPC’s commission identified many challenges facing the American public in preparing for retirement. Among others, two key issues—providing more Americans with access to workplace retirement plans and helping them preserve retirement income—are addressed by the legislation. Specifically, the bill would incentivize and reduce barriers for small businesses to offer their employees workplace retirement plans, increase coverage for part-time workers, and expand flexibility for incorporating lifetime income options in 401(k)s.
“With uncertainty surrounding the financial health of both Social Security and many pensions, 401(k)-type plans are being asked to play a larger and larger role in retirement security planning,” said Akabas. “That is why it is so critical to ensure that we expand access to these accounts and continue to improve their efficiency and design.”