Retirement Security Legislation on the Move!

Mar 30, 2022

Retirement savers across America will be pleased to learn that the U.S. House passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act (SSRA) of 2022 yesterday, 414-5. The legislative package that contains dozens of provisions aimed at improving the current retirement system now heads to the Senate.

The SSRA builds on the SECURE Act of 2019, which was important, comprehensive legislation that strove to increase access and participation in retirement plans by making it easier for employers to sponsor a retirement plan. The SSRA seeks to enhance the system in meaningful ways that will directly result in increased savings. These targeted improvements seek to remove barriers to saving for low-income earners, part-time workers, student loan borrowers, military spouses and people close to retirement who haven’t saved enough.

Among the key components are:

  • Incentives for small businesses to offer retirement plans
  • Automatic enrollment for new retirement plan participants
  • Support for student loan borrowers with their repayment 
  • Improvements to the Saver’s Credit

These provisions create a more financially inclusive retirement landscape and will encourage greater retirement savings.

Furthermore, enhancements that guarantee those close to or in retirement do not outlive their savings will build upon on the successful components of the current system and will provide even more retirees peace of mind. This includes increasing access to lifetime income options, removing barriers to annuities in qualified plans, and increasing accessibility to Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs). These improvements aim to create a more financially inclusive retirement landscape and are key components that will encourage greater retirement security for Americans from coast-to-coast.

The Senate, in anticipation of House actions, has numerous retirement-related actions in the pipeline. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Employment (HELP) Committee hosted a hearing yesterday focusing on retirement security. Both the Senate Finance Committee and the HELP Committee plan to review and vote on additional retirement-related legislation in the late spring timeframe.

While there is work still left to be done by lawmakers to settle on a final, comprehensive, agreed-upon package, it’s apparent that retirement security legislation remains a bipartisan shared goal. Hopefully one headed for enactment by the end of 2022!

Kathleen Coulombe

Kathleen Coulombe serves as the Senior Vice President, Federal Relations, for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). In this capacity, she is actively involved in a multitude of public policy issues on Capitol Hill that impact the life insurance industry.