House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass. (Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Bloomberg)

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., is planning to move this year on “Secure Act 2.0” legislation, a package of retirement planning bills that will include the Automatic Retirement Plan Act and the Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act, Neal told ThinkAdvisor in an email on Tuesday.

“Improving Americans’ retirement security remains a top priority of mine in 2020,” Neal said.

“Last year, the House passed my Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act — also known as the Butch Lewis Act — and I intend to do all I can to make sure the Senate passes that critical bill during this Congress as well.”

Neal also said he was working on bipartisan legislation “that will essentially be the Secure Act 2.0. I’m aiming to move the Automatic Retirement Plan Act and the Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act with that package.”

Neal said he’d like to get that legislation done “as soon as possible,” but exact timing hasn’t been nailed down.

Neal first floated the Automatic Retirement Plan Act in 2017. Also known as the “auto-401(k)” retirement bill, it would require small employers with businesses of 11 or more employees to maintain automatic contribution retirement plans for employees. The bill has not been reintroduced yet.

The Retirement Plan Simplification and Enhancement Act, which also has not yet been reintroduced in this Congress, would, among other measures, set a new cap on automatic employee deferrals to 401(k) plans.

The Insured Retirement Institute said Tuesday that it wants lawmakers to make technical corrections to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, or Secure Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 20.

One amendment would allow pooled employer plans for 403(b)s, while another correction would clarify that the three-year startup credit applies to small businesses for three years from the time the small business joins a multiple employer plan or a PEP and not from the time the MEP or PEP begins operations, the annuity trade group said on a Tuesday call to discuss its 2020 policy blueprint.

IRI plans to discuss the corrections in upcoming meetings scheduled with lawmakers, including on Thursday during the group’s annual board of directors’ Capitol Hill fly-in.

IRI also sees the Securities and Exchange Commission finalizing its variable annuity summary prospectus this year. “Our sense is that staff is making very good progress on the open issues that needed to be addressed” and is moving “expeditiously,” said Jason Berkowitz, IRI chief legal and regulatory affairs officer.

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