Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said late Tuesday that he will reintroduce his Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act this year.
The act, a package of public and private retirement plan reforms, includes language that stops the Department of Labor from writing fiduciary rules for individual retirement accounts, just as Jason Furman, chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, has maintained that it’s “high time” for DOL to update the 40-year-old Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Both Hatch and Furman spoke on Capitol Hill at an event on retirement security held by the Bipartisan Policy Center.
A spokesperson for Hatch’s office said that while the “base” SAFE Retirement Act “will be the same,” the bill may be reintroduced with modifications, as Hatch’s office has “been talking to stakeholders and seeking input for improvement of the bill for two years.”
As to the DOL fiduciary redraft, Hatch “believes Treasury, not DOL, should draft the fiduciary duty rule for IRAs,” the spokesperson said.
Hatch, who spoke with reporters after his brief remarks at the event, said his committee will look at the DOL’s fiduciary redraft, but that “right now we’re concerned about TPA,” the Trade Promotion Authority legislation, which is now “up in the air” as the bill was filibustered on Tuesday. “We have to see if we can get that [TPA bill] back on track.”
Furman stated that DOL’s fiduciary redraft, the Conflict of Interest Rule for Retirement Savings, is one of four areas the administration is focusing on regarding retirement savings policy.