A massive $2 trillion measure to bolster U.S. efforts to combat the COVID-19 health and economic crisis is expected to pass Thursday after White House and Congressional leaders finalized a deal late Tuesday night.
The proposal includes a provision that would permit limited early withdrawals and higher loan amounts from retirement accounts to ease financial pressures posed by workers who have lost jobs, contract the virus or must stay at home to care for loved ones afflicted by the virus.
The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), the leading national trade association for the retirement income industry praised Congress and the President for working to deliver needed aid to fight the virus and aid workers.
“This latest, massive effort to help our nation’s medical professionals and first responders treat those who contract the COVID-19 virus is much needed critical care for our nation as a whole,” said Wayne Chopus, IRI president and CEO. “Additionally, the much-needed economic assistance included in the legislation also will support millions of American workers and businesses that are adversely affected by shutdowns and social distancing policies to help reduce the spread of the virus.”
IRI supports provisions in the legislation to provide flexibility to retirees whose retirement savings may have been hit hard by the steep drop in the stock market. One provision would waive minimum required distribution when there has not been enough time to recover losses from retirement accounts.
Other provisions would allow for targeted access to retirement accounts for those hit hard by the health crisis. IRI said the provisions offer workers a safety valve to address immediate needs and is appropriately targeted to ensure that workers do not harm their ability to prepare for future retirement income needs.
“Our nation and the world are fighting the most serious health crisis in a century,” Chopus said. “Congress and the President have taken a major step toward providing the resources to medical providers to treat those who become ill as well as the economic support for workers and businesses to help ensure that jobs put on hold today will be back tomorrow when we defeat this virus.”