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Secure Act Could Narrow the Retirement Savings Gap: EBRI

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The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, or Secure Act, could help ameliorate the retirement savings crisis, according to just-released data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

EBRI found that certain provisions of Secure would help reduce the U.S. retirement deficit by 3%, or $115 billion for households between ages 35 and 64.

For workers currently ages 35 to 39, the percentage reduction increases to 5.3% and further increases to 10.7% for those who work for small employers (fewer than 100 employees).

EBRI’s Issue Brief, “Impact of the SECURE Act on Retirement Income Adequacy,” uses EBRI’s Retirement Security Projection Model to evaluate the impact of three Secure provisions on retirement income adequacy on a national basis:

  • allowing providers to offer multiple employer plans (MEPs);
  • raising the cap under which plan sponsors can automatically enroll workers in “safe harbor” 401(k) plans from 10% to 15% of wages; and
  • required coverage of long-term part-time employees.

“When you look at the people who Secure was primarily intended for, those working for small employers, and then specifically those who are young enough to benefit from the changes before they retire, the three provisions of Secure are able to decrease their average retirement deficits by 10.7%,” Jack VanDerhei, EBRI’s Director of Research, who authored the report, told ThinkAdvisor in a Thursday interview.


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