Susan Neely (Photo: ACLI) Susan Neely (Photo: ACLI)

The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) are trying to send a strong message to a group of seven Republican senators.

The message boils down to, “Thank you!”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and six colleagues — Rob Portman of Ohio; Thom Tillis of North Carolina; Joni Ernst of Iowa; Martha McSally of Arizona; Susan Collins of Maine; and Cory Gardner of Colorado — wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earlier this week to ask him to move the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act bill, or Secure Act bill, through the Senate consideration pipeline.

(Related: Senators Push for Vote on Secure Act Retirement Bill)

The ACLI and IRI responded by forwarding the letter to their media contacts, to welcome the senators’ support for the bill.

ACLI President Susan Neely said in the statement that this is the perfect time for the Senate to act on the bill.

“There’s so much momentum for this bill which is good for small business owners and their employee,” Neely said. “Sen. Scott continues to lead for families, in this case helping so many start to save for retirement and safeguarding others’ retirement security.”

IRI put out a statement saying it ”greatly appreciates the action by these influential senators for encouraging leadership to take action on the Secure Act as soon as possible.”

“We also are very thankful to Sen. Scott for leading this effort,” IRI said.

ACLI is the main trade group for life insurers.

IRI represents annuity issuers.

The Secure Act includes many different retirement savings provisions. Some of the provisions could help small employers offer retirement plans. One would encourage employers to add annuitization options to 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans, by creating a liability safe harbor for employers that choose an annuitization provider that goes bad. The safe harbor provision could protect an employer against disappointing annuitization provider performance if the employer uses a careful process to select a strong annuity issuer.

The bill sailed through the House, but it has run into friction in the Senate due to critics’ concerns about the “pay fors.” One pay-for provision could change the rules for taxpayers who want to pass individual retirement accounts on to heirs.

— Read Everyone Loves the Big New Retirement Bills… But…on ThinkAdvisor.

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