Secure For All

Nov 15, 2022

Legislation that would help employers bolster the retirement security for millions of workers across the country has passed the U.S. House and enjoys strong, bipartisan support in the Senate.

“SECURE 2.0” – so named because it builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 aka “SECURE” would help retirement savers from North to South. But it has particular importance to businesses and employees in Kentucky, as it targets many segments of the U.S. population that are prevalent in our state.

Kentucky’s Black and Hispanic communities increased between 2011 and 2021. Many workers in these communities work in small businesses, which SECURE 2.0 targets for help. It would offer tax incentives for small businesses to set up retirement plans and require auto-enrollment into most new plans, helping more Kentuckians and Americans overall access retirement security.

The legislation would also benefit companies employing military spouses.

SECURE 2.0 would provide a tax credit to small employers if they make military spouses eligible for their retirement plan within two months of hire. My son-in-law proudly served 26 years in the military, so I am well aware of the tremendous sacrifices military families make. This legislation would help military families across the nation, including those serving at Fort Campbell Army Base and Fort Knox Army Base in Kentucky.

Low-income earners would also benefit.

With an average household median income of $52,295, Kentucky falls more than $15,000 below the national average in median income. 

Low- and middle-income Kentuckians would benefit from SECURE 2.0’s improved Saver’s Credit.

Under current law, the Saver’s Credit is non-refundable, meaning that it can only decrease the amount of taxes owed. The legislation would make it refundable, so that those without federal tax liability would be able to claim the credit and contribute it to a retirement plan or IRA.

The state’s part-time workers and workers nearing retirement also would benefit greatly by the legislation.

With the average retirement savings balance in Kentucky ranking 23rd among the states, SECURE 2.0 will provide Bluegrass State employers and residents better tools to plan and save more for a financially comfortable retirement.

Help, in the form of SECURE 2.0, could not come too soon.

James Rousey

James Rousey is President of Universal Guaranty Life Insurance Company in Stanford, Kentucky.