The insurance and annuities industry is loudly expressing support for the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement (SECURE) Act, H.R. 1994, which was overwhelmingly passed (417-3) by the House of Representatives on May 23 and now awaits action in the Senate.
The bill, which enjoys strong bipartisan support, would mean the most significant changes to defined contribution plans since the Pension Protection Act of 2006, and would be a major “win” for annuity providers seeking greater access to employee retirement plans.
The measure also requires retirement plans to provide participating workers with an illustration of how much monthly income a retirement savings account might deliver. Additionally, the bill raises the age to begin required minimum distributions from retirement accounts from 70½ to 72.
Industry associations see this as the fruits of their lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill paying off. Here are some notable excerpts from recent statements released by industry advocacy groups in support of the SECURE Act:
Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)
“Americans face a retirement crisis of too little savings amplified by existing barriers that discourage and hamper the ability of small employers to offer a workplace retirement plan. [The] vote demonstrates how Congress can work together on a bipartisan basis to advance common-sense solutions to help retire the retirement crisis.
“Too many Americans have anxiety about their retirement finances. Improving opportunities for workers to save, extending more access to lifetime income options and provide information to help savers make more-informed decisions about their finances, will boost Americans’ retirement confidence to help ensure they do not outlive their savings and can enjoy a secure and dignified retirement.”
– IRI president and CEO Wayne Chopus
American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI)
“Each day, 10,000 Americans turn age 65 and many can expect to live 20 years or longer in retirement. Yet, research shows that one-third of Americans approaching retirement have between nothing and $25,000 in savings to supplement Social Security income. Key provisions in the SECURE Act and RESA will go a long way toward addressing the country’s looming savings crisis. They will provide more than 700,000 additional workers with access to workplace retirement plans to help them save.
“The bills also make it easier for employers to offer workplace retirement plans with annuities that guarantee an income for life. The SECURE Act and RESA provide the right solutions at the right time to ensure all Americans, regardless of where they live and how they work, have access to the tools they need for a secure retirement.”
– ACLI President and CEO Susan Neely
Associated for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU)
“Americans are not saving enough today. They need more tools to help them save for retirement and put them on a path to financial security. The SECURE Act is a critical step in doing that. As financial security professionals, our members help families and businesses meet their retirement goals and achieve financially sound futures, and we are committed to addressing the retirement savings gap.
“The SECURE Act would make it easier for employers, especially small businesses, to offer workplace retirement plans and expand American workers’ ability to participate in those plans. In addition, this legislation would increase access to lifetime income solutions and help employees better understand how their savings will translate into a stream of income to live the life they want during retirement.
“We urge the Senate to act quickly to unleash these tools for the American people. Every financial security professional will tell you that saving early over a long period of time is the best way to secure your financial future, and the SECURE Act will enhance that opportunity for millions of Americans.”
– AALU President and CEO Marc Cadin
National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)
“The SECURE Act, which passed the House [May 23] with overwhelming bipartisan support, would give millions of Americans better opportunities to prepare for retirement. It would provide employers more incentives and make it easier for them to offer retirement plans for employees.
“[Recently], nearly 600 NAIFA members met with more than 90% of congressional offices during NAIFA’s Congressional Conference and urged lawmakers to vote for the bill. It’s always satisfying to see results from our grassroots advocacy be realized so quickly. We look forward to this momentum carrying over to the Senate, where the bill is known as the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act, and hope the legislation will soon be signed into law.”
– NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux