SENATE COMMITTEE HEARING EXPLORES RETIREMENT SECURITY MEASURES

Posted on May 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing this week to examine issues surrounding retirement security and measures Congress may consider to help more of America's workers and retirees save and plan for their golden years.

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) said it is encouraged by the bipartisan cooperation that retirement security issues continue to receive in Congress. 

"IRI welcomes the Senate HELP Committee's hearing to explore ways to address the anxiety and obstacles many workers, retirees, and their families are facing about their future financial security during retirement," said Wayne Chopus, IRI President and CEO. "We look forward to hearing from the committee about measures to help workers and retirees build economic equity, strengthen their financial security, and protect their income throughout their retirement years." 

A National Institute for Retirement Research survey found that 67 percent of respondents said the nation faces a retirement crisis, and 56 percent are concerned that they will not achieve a financially secure retirement. In addition, a Fidelity Investments study found that 80 percent of America's workers said their retirement plans were disrupted in the past year due to actions such as job loss or retirement account withdrawals. One in three estimates that they will need two to three years to recover financially from these events.

Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the Securing a Stronger Retirement Act of 2021 (H.R.2954) by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas). The bill would expand access to workplace retirement plans and increase the availability of lifetime income solutions within plans to help reduce the risk of outliving retirement savings. Several measures in the House legislation were called for in IRI's 2021 Federal Retirement Security Blueprint announced in March.

The House bill contains a number of provisions that are similar to those in two Senate bills, the Retirement Security and Savings Act by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (D-Ohio) and the Improving Access to Retirement Savings Act by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). Both bills are expected to be reintroduced shortly. 

"We thank the committee for providing leadership in the ongoing national dialogue on retirement security," Chopus said. "IRI will continue to advocate for and strongly support efforts to pass measures that will provide workers and retirees with the opportunities and tools to overcome obstacles that inhibit their ability to save and prepare for a financially secure and dignified retirement. We look forward to working with leaders in both chambers to enact legislation this year."

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Contact: Dan Zielinski