The Time is Now to Act on Legislation to Enhance Retirement Security

Several pieces of legislation are making their way through Congress focused on improving retirement security for all Americans. The COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and an unsteady and uncertain economic environment have presented enormous challenges for many Americans seeking to save for retirement, making passage of this commonsense retirement legislation before the end of year urgent.

A number of provisions included in these bills (HR 2954, S 4353, and S 4808) would significantly enhance and support increased retirement savings. The legislation under consideration takes important steps toward enhancing the private retirement system and increasing retirement savings, including provisions that will incentivize small businesses to offer retirement plans, enable older Americans to save more and hold on to their savings longer, and help young people to save while paying off student loan debt.

Specifically, as an industry, we support provisions that would:

  • expand coverage through increasing the employer credit
  • allow student loan payments to count as elective deferrals
  • expand automatic enrollment that is accompanied by measures that offset the additional burden placed on employers to ensure that employers will be encouraged to offer retirement plans to their employees
  • help individuals make up for any time lost from investing for their future by allowing for a higher catch-up contribution for savers aged 62-64
  • increase the required minimum distribution (RMD) age to 75 and index catch-up contributions to inflation
  • expand opportunities for military spouses to participate in retirement plans.

The American retirement system has helped millions of Americans prepare for a secure future, and the private sector has played an important role in providing and administering retirement plans.

We strongly encourage Congress to pass this bipartisan, commonsense legislation before the end of the year.

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. is President and CEO of SIFMA. Mr. Bentsen is also Chair of the International Council of Securities Associations (ICSA), Co-Chair of the British American Finance Alliance (BAFA) and Chairman of Engage China.