U.S. Senate Needs to Pass SECURE Act

Aug 22, 2019

Have you ever worked forever on a jigsaw puzzle, only to discover you’re missing a key piece?

If so, then you’ll understand the current frustration among retirement security proponents who have been working to help solve the nation’s retirement puzzle by passing the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The bill will help Americans prepare for a secure retirement while resolving a vexing tax problem harming our nation’s military families.

The U.S. House of Representatives in May voted 417-3 to pass the SECURE Act, which used the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA) as a bedrock. It built upon RESA to produce a bill that enjoys bipartisan, bicameral support. The SECURE Act will close significant retirement savings gaps. It will make it easier for small employers to sponsor a retirement plan, encourage employees to save more and increase access to guaranteed lifetime income.

The legislation will increase access to retirement plans for employees of small employers, resulting in more than 700,000 new retirement savings accounts across the United States. In addition, the bill helps protect survivor benefits for our nation’s heroes by fixing a tax issue affecting America’s Gold Star families. And it makes critical retirement related tax clarifications for church organizations and institutions.

Groups from across the political spectrum support the SECURE Act. Led by the American Council of Life Insurers, a coalition of 22 organizations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Church Alliance and the Military Officers Association of America sent a letter to all 100 U.S. senators urging them to pass this bill.

Unfortunately, the SECURE Act is being held up by a handful of senators who are hoping for a few changes to the legislation. Is it a perfect bill? Of course not. There’s no such thing.

But any piece of legislation that gets 100 percent of House Democrats and 98 percent of House Republicans to vote yes clearly has something going for it.

It’s time for the U.S. Senate to join their House counterparts and complete the puzzle by passing the SECURE Act when they come back into session.

Alane Dent

Alane R. Dent served as Senior Vice President, Federal Relations for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) until March 2020. She oversaw issues affecting the life insurance industry; including tax, retirement security, financial services, international affairs and life insurance products.