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Why Secure Act 2.0 Will Pass This Year

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­­There’s a 70% chance that Congress will pass a Secure Act 2.0 bill this year, according to Brad Campbell, a former head of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and now a partner at Faegre Drinker in Washington.

Key champions of the bill will not be around much longer, making Secure Act 2.0 legislation a bipartisan priority. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., “won’t be chairman of Ways and Means next year,” Campbell said during a recent webcast, and Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, ranking member on the committee, is retiring.

Also retiring is Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who jointly penned the Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2021 with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md.

“There’s a real potential that Congress could do a retirement reform bill” this year, Campbell said on the webcast.

Jeff Bush of The Washington Update agrees that there’s a 70% chance Secure Act 2.0 will pass this year.

“In September, I expect Congress will pass a continuing resolution (CR) regarding budget issues, kicking that issue into the lame duck period after the election,” Bush said Friday in an email.

Secure Act 2.0 “could be attached to the 2023 budget or another CR vote in December,” just as the first Secure Act was in 2019.

Changes being proposed in a Secure Act 2.0 bill include raising the required minimum distribution age to 75 and increasing catch-up provisions for those nearing retirement age, Bush notes.

“There is a discussion of indexing the $100,000 limit for Qualified Charitable Deductions, adding Roth provisions for Simple and SEPs, and others,” he added.

Paul Richman, Chief Government and Political Affairs Officer at the Insured Retirement Institute, told ThinkAdvisor Thursday in an email that IRI “remains optimistic that Congress will reach consensus and pass Secure 2.0 before Congress adjourns for this session.”

IRI, Richman said, continues “to advocate, educate, and inform members of Congress about the measures in the bills that will help America’s workers and retirees achieve economic equity, strengthen their financial security, and protect their income to sustain them throughout their retirement years.”

While the House and Senate versions of Secure Act 2.0 bills have yet to be reconciled, the two chambers’ versions already share similarities.

The House passed its version of Secure Act 2.0 — officially called the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 — in March.

The Senate Finance Committee passed by voice vote on June 22 the Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act, bipartisan legislation that’s intended to be included in the Senate’s version of Secure Act 2.0.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee passed by voice vote on June 14 the Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the Nest Egg  — or Rise & Shine — Act.

The bills from the HELP Committee and Finance Committee will be combined to make up the Senate’s Secure Act 2.0 package.

Campbell said on the webcast that a reconciled Secure Act 2.0 bill may be merged into “another must-pass” piece of legislation.

Ed Slott of Ed Slott and Co. told ThinkAdvisor in late June that Secure Act 2.0 legislation must fix the 10-year rule in the IRS’ proposed regulations on how to handle required minimum distributions under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (Secure) Act of 2019.

None of the bills that are to make up Congress’ Secure Act 2.0 package include such a fix, Slott told ThinkAdvisor.