Helping workers save for retirement on the job should help improve those workers’ ability to plan, save and invest for retirement on their own.
Phil Waldeck, president of Prudential Financial Inc.’s Prudential Retirement, made that case today in an interview.
Prudential has been one of the financial services companies putting its policymaking muscle behind supporting passage of H.R. 1994 — the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, or SECURE Act bill. The company has also been supporting passage of the major Senate retirement bill, S. 972, the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act bill or RESA bill.
Members of the House passed H.R. 1994 by a 417-3 vote Thursday. The Senate is now preparing to consider S. 972, which has support from key Senate Democrats as well as from Senate Republicans.
Some of the many provisions in the bills could help small employers join together to offer coverage through multiple employer retirement plans; give employers that choose retirement plan annuitization option providers some protection annuitization provider-related lawsuit risk; and increase the required minimum distribution age for retirement account assets to 72, from 70 1/2 today.
Waldeck said that he believes that implementation of either bill could help many more U.S. workers save for retirement.
Groups like the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, AALU and the National Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies brought members to Capitol Hill to support passage of the bills, and to explain the provisions to lawmakers and congressional aides.
Retail life insurance agents might be supporting the SECURE Act and RESA Act bills for the good of the workers, but they might have still had some concern about what stronger employer-sponsored retirement plans could do to the sales of annuities and life insurance products used in individual income retirement savings and income planning efforts.
Waldeck said the real problem is the many Americans who have no retirement savings at all.
“That’s a really, really big number,” Waldeck said.