More Can Be Done
There has been much to celebrate in the retirement savings policymaking space in the last five years. After a substantial lull in legislating in this area, Congress came together in a big bipartisan way in 2019 and 2022 to enact significant retirement security legislation.
Congress acted first at the end of 2019 by passing the SECURE Act. Three years later, it passed the SECURE 2.0 Act. These important pieces of legislation enhanced retirement savings opportunities for millions of Americans. They created more tools for small businesses to offer retirement plans and put new rules in place to benefit part-time workers.
It is no coincidence that this productive era in bipartisan retirement savings policymaking burst forth shortly after Representative Richie Neal (D-MA) became Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over key retirement savings vehicles. Improving the financial security of families through increasing access to savings opportunities in the workplace has been one of Representative Neal’s core policy values during his entire Congressional career.
SECURE and SECURE 2.0 were significant steps to provide Americans with better access to our retirement system. But we know that there is still more that can and should be done.
That is why ACLI applauds Representative Neal, now the Committee’s Ranking Member, on the reintroduction this week of his signature retirement plan coverage bill, the Automatic IRA Act of 2024. The bill requires employers with 10 or more employees that currently do not have a retirement plan to offer one with automatic enrollment and a lifetime income distribution option.
This bill is a bold and meaningful solution to the current workplace retirement plan access gap. ACLI estimates that over 31 million additional American workers will gain access to workplace retirement plans and over 22 million will participate, if the legislation is adopted.
The Automatic IRA Act is the cornerstone which cements in place the policy accomplishments included in the SECURE bills. It will give more American workers the ability to retire with dignity in the coming generations.