Retirement Savings

Helping Americans build savings for a secure retirement is among the most important roles of the U.S. capital markets.

Individuals of all income levels can start investing, invest for the long-term, and have access to work with a professional financial advisor who serves as a critical link in helping investors meet their goals.

Changing demographics, including increasing longevity, underscore the need for a robust private retirement system. Policy makers must continue to address the challenge of encouraging and facilitating saving and investing for retirement across our society.

Today, U.S. workers are increasingly relying on individually funded retirement plans, such as 401k’s and IRA’s. Defined contribution plans account for $11 trillion in assets. Both through their employers and individually, Americans today are largely responsible for building their retirement accounts themselves. Nearly 60% of total retirement assets are individually funded through defined contribution retirement plans and IRAs. Because individual savers play a greater role in the decision-making regarding their investments, access to a financial advisor is even more important today to help individuals prepare for their future.

SIFMA is committed to increasing retirement security for all Americans and has identified three primary pillars to reach this goal:

  1. Expanding access to plans;
  2. Increasing participation and decreasing leakage; and
  3. Enhancing education.

SIFMA was proud to support the recently passed Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 (SECURE 2.0). This new law increases both catch-up contributions and the age for taking required minimum distributions (RMDs). SECURE 2.0 also requires the Department of Labor to create a retirement savings lost and found database to address leakage. Additionally, it expands automatic enrollment in retirement plans, therefore improving access and enabling individuals to increase their retirement savings. Overall, SECURE 2.0 is a major victory for employers, individuals, and the retirement system.

With efforts such as these, we can boost participation in retirement savings, enable Americans to save more, promote financial literacy and support a strong retail investor culture.

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