WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 11, 2019) – Fifty-one insurance and financial services professionals, one representing each state and the District of Columbia, signed a letter urging Congress to pass the SECURE Act, bipartisan legislation that would make it easier for hundreds of thousands of Americans to save for retirement.
Each of the signers is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), which has been a long-standing advocate for the legislation. The Act, which passed the House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support in a 417-3 vote, has stalled in the Senate due to procedural matters and minor concerns raised by a very few senators.
The letter was delivered to Senate and House leadership this morning.
“These financial professionals urging Congress to pass the SECURE Act shows the strength of NAIFA’s grassroots army, which has members in every congressional district across the United States,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “Insurance and financial services professionals are on the front lines, helping clients prepare for secure retirements. This is another way they are working on behalf of small businesses and American families to confront a potential retirement crisis.”
A Northwestern Mutual survey indicates that 78% of Americans have concerns about whether they can afford retirement, and the U.S. Census Bureau says only 14% of U.S. employers offer their workers 401(k) retirement savings plans. Another study found that the median U.S. worker has no retirement savings whatsoever.
The SECURE Act would help. It would provide small businesses with greater flexibility and incentives to offer their employees retirement plans and give workers greater access to retirement plans.
According to an estimate by the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), more than 700,000 workers nationwide would start saving for retirement if the Act is signed into law.
“The SECURE Act is that rare piece of legislation in Washington today that has widespread support among Republicans and Democrats,” Mayeux added. “The bill removes obstacles that discourage companies from offering retirement plans. Its passage would be a huge win for small business owners who want to do right by their employees and for American workers, many of whom struggle to prepare for retirement.”
Among the SECURE Act’s main provisions, it would:
- Relax rules and address liability issues that discourage small employers from offering retirement plans to workers
- Encourage the availability of annuity options within retirement plans for employees who would benefit from those products
- Require retirement plan providers to disclose the lifetime income value of retirement accounts, so that workers can better gauge their financial security in retirement
- Provide some small employers with tax credits for automatically enrolling workers into retirement plans
- Allow some part-time workers better access to employer-provided retirement plans
- Permit parents of newborn or newly adopted children to withdraw up to $5,000 from retirement accounts without suffering early-withdrawal tax penalties
Earlier this week, NAIFA’s Mayeux joined 90 other corporate and association CEOs who signed a separate letter to Congress urging passage of the SECURE Act.