Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., reintroduced last session’s Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act during a lengthy Wednesday House Ways and Committee hearing packed with ideas for fixing America’s retirement savings problems, both public and private.
The committee put a marker down Wednesday on retirement savings action during its first hearing in the new Congress, placing a bipartisan support for some legislative action on private and public savings vehicles, including RESA.
“As a nation, we have a problem when it comes to retirement savings. We need to take common-sense steps to ensure our businesses are offering their employees flexible retirement plans that set our workers up for success in their golden years,” Kind said in a statement accompanying the bill.
RESA would ease federal tax barriers allowing access to retirement savings through employer-provided retirement plans by making it administratively easier and less financially onerous for employers to create multiple employer plans, or MEPs.
Retirement savings plan auto-enrollment would increase under RESA’s provisions. The bill also has an education component.
As envisioned, RESA would also permit the portability of lifetime income products and preserve the income guarantees associated with those investments.
“Americans today face many challenges in saving for retirement because they do not have the opportunities or access to do so through a private-sector workplace retirement plan,” stated Insured Retirement Institute President and CEO Wayne Chopus. The enactment of RESA “would go a long way in helping Americans to overcome the obstacles they now face in saving for their retirement.”
MassMutual Chairman and CEO Roger Crandall voiced his support for RESA in testimony before the committee, noting that currently, the expense for small companies of setting up plans “is real.”
Crandall championed the proposed tax incentives he said would help offset the costs associated with establishing a new workplace retirement plan.