National Savings Proposals
- To view federal legislation proposing national savings solutions, see prior sessions.
Other Reform Proposals
- Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020
- Resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Retirement Security Month
- Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act of 2020
- Small Employers Credit for Military Spouses Act
- Encourage Americans to Save Act (“EASA”)
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) Act
Investigating Challenges to American Retirement Security
On Wednesday, December 9, 2020, the Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy of the Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on the topic of challenges to American retirement security. A video replay of this hearing, as well as a list of witnesses and their testimony, are available here.
Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020
Introduced as H.R. 8696 by Representative Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) on October 27, 2020.
This bill builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 to further improve workers’ long-term financial wellbeing. This bill would:
- Promote savings earlier for retirement by enrolling employees automatically in their company’s 401(k) plan, when a new plan is created;
- Create a new financial incentive for small businesses to offer retirement plans;
- Increase and modernize the existing federal tax credit for contributions to a retirement plan or IRA (the Saver’s Credit);
- Expand retirement savings options for non-profit employees by allowing groups of non-profits to join together to offer retirement plans to their employees;
- Offer individuals 60 and older more flexibility to set aside savings as they approach retirement;
- Allow individuals to save for retirement longer by increasing the required minimum distribution age to 75;
- Allow individuals to pay down a student loan instead of contributing to a 401(k) plan and still receive an employer match in their retirement plan;
- Make it easier for military spouses who change jobs frequently to save for retirement;
- Allow individuals more flexibility to make gifts to charity through their IRAs;
- Allow taxpayers to avoid harsh penalties for inadvertent errors managing an IRA that can lead to a loss of retirement savings;
- Protect retirees who unknowingly receive retirement plan overpayments; and
- Make it easier for employees to find lost retirement accounts by creating a national, online, database of lost accounts.
Source: Congress.gov; House Ways and Means Committee press release. A section by section summary and text of the bill is also available.
Resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National Retirement Security Month
Introduced as S. Res. 743 by Senator Michael B. Enzi (R-WY) on October 1, 2020.
This bill would support goals including raising public awareness of the various tax-preferred retirement vehicles, increasing personal financial literacy, and engaging the people of the United States on the keys to success in achieving and maintaining retirement security throughout their lifetimes.
This resolution was agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent.
Source: Congress.gov; Senator Enzi’s press release.
Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act of 2020
Introduced as H.R. 7439 by Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Representative Jim Banks (R-IN) on July 1, 2020.
- Create a national lost and found for retirement accounts using data which employers are already required to report to the Treasury Department. Workers would be able to locate all of their former employer-sponsored retirement accounts with a click of a button;
- Maximize investment earnings by making it easier for plan sponsors to move small accounts into appropriate target-date funds so that workers can maximize their investment returns; and
- Reinvest small cashed-out accounts. Plan sponsors would be required to send lost, uncashed checks of less than $1,000 to the Treasury so that individuals can locate this money and continue to save for their retirement.
This bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means in addition to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.
Source: Congress.gov; Representative Bonamici’s press release.
A companion bill was introduced as S. 4192 by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) on July 2, 2020. This bill has been read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.
Source: Congress.gov; Senator Warren’s press release and bill summary.
Small Employers Credit for Military Spouses Act
Introduced as S. 4173 by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representative Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH) on July 2, 2020.
This bill seeks to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide a credit to small employers for military spouses under retirement plans.
This bill has been read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.
Encourage Americans to Save Act
Introduced as S. 5035 by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) on December 16, 2020.
This bill would reform a tax credit into a federal matching contribution to middle and low income working Americans who contribute to a retirement savings account and would expand the program to include those who save through an IRA under a state or local government program, such as OregonSaves. This act would replace the current saver’s credit with a simple, 50% government match on contributions of up to $1000 per year made to 401(k)-type plans and IRAs by individuals with income up to $32,500 and couples with income up to $65,000.
This bill was read twice and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.
Source: Congress.gov; Senate Finance Committee bill summary.
Introduced as H.R. 7418 by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Representative Terri Sewell (D-AL) on June 30, 2020.
This bill will update the saver’s tax credit into a saver’s match, a federal matching contribution to middle- and low-income working Americans who contribute to a retirement savings account, whether they save at work through an employer-sponsored plan or on their own through an IRA. The bill will offer matching contributions for the first time to millions of individuals not covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan, including those who save through an IRA under a state or local government program, such as CalSavers.
This bill has been referred to the House Committee of Ways and Means.
Source: Congress.gov; Senator Panetta’s press release.
CARES Act of 2020
Introduced as H.R. 748 by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) on January 24, 2019.
This bill includes provisions responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, including authorizing emergency loans to distressed businesses and providing tax rebates to individuals. This bill also waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 from qualified retirement accounts for coronavirus-related purposes made on or after January 1, 2020 and allows individuals to recontribute the funds to an eligible retirement plan within three years regardless of that year’s cap on contributions; waives the required minimum distribution rules for certain defined contribution plans and IRAs for calendar year 2020.
This bill passed on the Senate 96-0 on March 25, 2020. Senate amendments were agreed to in the House on March 27, 2020 and this bill became Public Law 116-136.
A companion bill was introduced as S.3548 by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on March 19, 2020.
Source: Congress.gov; Senate Finance Committee summary.