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COLLECTED WISDOM™ on Legislative Items Impacting Retirement Plans

A directory and index of articles that review what is happening in Congress and Washington DC.

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Congress Urged to Act on Numerous Retirement System Changes

In a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, witnesses urged lawmakers to include changes such as mandatory coverage, student loan provisions, and emergency savings in whatever legislative package materializes, such as the SECURE 2.0 bills in the House and Senate.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), July 2021

Khawar: Cryptocurrency Guidance on the Horizon

Speaking July 27 at the 2021 NAPA D.C. Fly-In Forum, the Acting Assistant Secretary for the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration outlined the key areas the department is working on, including both cryptocurrency and cybersecurity issues.

Source: Asppa.org, July 2021

DOL Official Sheds Light on Rollover Recommendations

Cautioning those looking to "game the system," a senior Labor Department official affirmed July 27 that suggesting investments that could occur after a rollover is tantamount to recommending the rollover, and if it meets the rest of the five-part test will constitute fiduciary advice regardless of how it's phrased.

Source: Asppa.org, July 2021

Gomez Nominated for EBSA Post

President Biden has nominated Lisa M. Gomez for Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration. Ms. Gomez is a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon and chair of the firm's management committee.

Source: Ascensus.com, July 2021

Senate Democrats Introduce Bill Providing 401k, IRA Match

Ron Wyden, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and six other Democratic senators have introduced legislation that would enhance the incentives to save for retirement. The existing nonrefundable saver's credit would become a $1,000-a-year matching contribution from the government.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), July 2021

Women's Retirement Protection Act Reintroduced in Congress

U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who is the current chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and Representative Lauren Underwood have reintroduced the Women’s Retirement Protection Act of 2021. According to the lawmakers, the legislation aims to address the gender-based retirement savings gap and bolster women's financial security overall.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2021

Comparison of Provisions in SECURE 2.0 and Cardin-Portman

Groom has prepared a comparison of the provisions in two key retirement bills being considered by the 117th Congress: the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 (H.R. 2954, "SECURE 2.0") and the Retirement Security & Savings Act (S. 1770, "Cardin-Portman").

Source: Groom.com, July 2021

House Panel Crafting Bill to Limit IRA Savings

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal is mulling legislation that would limit "the total amount of money that can be saved in tax-preferred retirement accounts, and putting an end to the tax-dodging some do when saving in IRAs," he told ThinkAdvisor via email on Thursday.

Source: Treasuryandrisk.com, July 2021

Kennedy Introduces Bills to Boost Retirement Savings

Two bills have been introduced in the U.S. Senate designed to help Americans keep -- and have more control over -- their retirement savings. Sen. John Kennedy introduced the Keeping Your Retirement Act and the Increasing Retirement Amount Act on June 7.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2021

'Secure Act 2.0' Likely to Become a Reality

The U.S. Senate's Improving Access to Retirement Savings Act, which is its version of the House's Securing a Strong Retirement Act, is likely to become law and improve America's retirement savings system in meaningful ways. That's the expectation of retirement plan executives about the bill.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2021

Enhancing Emergency and Retirement Savings Act Introduced

The legislation would provide a penalty-free "emergency personal expense distribution" option from employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs. The proposal would allow for one emergency distribution per calendar year of up to $1,000 from the individual's total nonforfeitable accrued benefit under the plan. The bill requires that the withdrawn funds be paid back to the plan before an additional emergency distribution from that same plan is allowed.

Source: Ascensus.com, June 2021

Bill Would Allow Penalty-Free Withdrawals From 401ks, IRAs

Sen. James Lankford introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow retirement plan participants to dip into their savings for emergencies. "The Enhancing Emergency and Retirement Savings Act of 2021" would "encourage participation in retirement plans' by giving individuals penalty-free access to funds should a family emergency hit," Lankford said.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, June 2021

Biden Expected to Advance a More Stringent Fiduciary Rule, Advocate for Retirement Income and ESG Investing

Industry experts reflect on what President Joe Biden has done in his first months in office with respect to retirement plans and what they still see coming down the road from his administration.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2021

Executive Order Includes Review of ESG Factors in Retirement Plans

President Biden issued an Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk, which includes a directive to the DOL Secretary to consider publishing, by September 2021, a proposed rule to suspend, revise, or rescind the Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments and Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights final rules that were published during the Trump administration regarding environmental, social, and governance investments and proxy voting by employee benefit plans.

Source: Ascensus.com, May 2021

Bill Would Allow Retirement Plans to Use ESG Investments

U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene have introduced legislation in both chambers of Congress that they say would provide legal certainty to workplace retirement plans that choose to consider environmental, social, and governance factors in their investment decisions or offer ESG investment options.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2021

Portman, Cardin Reintroduce Sweeping Retirement Reform Bill

In what may be their final act teaming up on retirement security legislation, the bipartisan duo of Sens. Rob Portman and Ben Cardin on May 21 reintroduced their Retirement Security and Savings Act (S. 1770). Like the previous version introduced in the last session of Congress, the 163-page bill includes more than 50 provisions designed to strengthen Americans' retirement security by addressing four major opportunities in the existing retirement system.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2021

Senate Retirement Legislation Introduced

The Improving Access to Retirement Savings Act was introduced this week by Senator Charles Grassley, Senator Maggie Hassan, and Senator James Lankford. "The bill provides common-sense, bipartisan solutions that will help address the challenges and obstacles that continue to inhibit savings and producing income during retirement," wrote Paul Richman, IRI Chief Government and Political Affairs Officer.

Source: Myirionline.org, May 2021

Major Bipartisan Retirement Reform Bill Gets House Committee Approval

The House Ways and Means Committee passed a major bipartisan package of retirement reforms clearing the way for possible House approval this year. The legislation carries over most provisions from an earlier version of the bill but contains some tweaks and several additional sections, including some revenue offsets that would direct more workplace savings into after-tax Roth accounts. It also draws several provisions from broad Senate legislation (S 1431) introduced in the prior Congress and likely to see reintroduction soon, suggesting that a combined retirement bill may advance this year.

Source: Mercer.com, May 2021

The Beltway Is Buzzing With Retirement Proposals

The word of the moment in Washington, D.C. when it comes to retirement activity is busy. Legislative and regulatory proposals are floating through the halls of Congress and in the offices of agencies such as the Department of Labor, said Preston Rutledge, who served as assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration under President Donald Trump.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, May 2021

Senate Committee Hearing Explores Retirement Security Measures

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee will hold a hearing this week to examine issues surrounding retirement security and measures Congress may consider to help more of America's workers and retirees save and plan for their golden years.

Source: Myirionline.org, May 2021

Summary of Provisions in the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021

This chart summarizes the "Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021" as marked up by the House Ways and Means Committee on May 5, 2021.

Source: Groom.com, May 2021

Congressional Leaders Call for GAO Review of TDFs

The Chairpersons of two of the leading retirement plan committees in Congress are calling for a review of target-date funds. Sen. Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, and Rep. Robert Scott, Chairman of the House Committee on Education & Labor, have written to the head of the Government Accountability Office, asking them to conduct a review of target-date funds.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2021

American Rescue Plan Act Brings Retirement Plan Relief

The Act, which is largely focused on COVID-19 relief, brings with it a few notable retirement plan relief provisions (and one executive compensation change to help foot the bill). These provisions can be broken down into (1) single-employer pension funding relief, (2) expansion of Code Sec. 162(m) that limits deductions on executive compensation, (3) multiemployer pension funding relief, and (4) increase in PBGC premiums for multiemployer plans.

Source: Groom.com, May 2021

What's in the New SECURE Act 2.0?

Most of the provisions that were contained in the earlier version are retained in the new one. But the "SECURE Act 2.0" legislation that the House Ways & Means Committee will mark up includes several new provisions as well as changes to some of the existing provisions. This is a summary of some of the additional changes and new provisions in the SSRA.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2021

Securing a Strong Retirement Act Re-Introduced

This legislation is the first comprehensive bipartisan retirement legislation introduced in 2021. Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 expands upon and includes additional provisions from the SSRA of 2020. While this bill (and others) have been coined by many as "SECURE 2.0," it is prudent to follow retirement legislation developments by bill name for clarity and think of "SECURE 2.0" in the context of retirement reform generally.

Source: Ascensus.com, May 2021

Ways & Means to Mark Up SECURE Act 2.0

The U.S. House Ways & Means Committee will be focusing on a markup of what's been called SECURE 2.0, legislation that includes several key provisions championed by the American Retirement Association. Chairman Neal and the Committee's ranking Republican, Rep. Kevin Brady, first introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act last October as a sequel to the 2019 SECURE Act. While they have yet to formally introduce the legislation in the new Congress, that bill is expected to form the basis of the May 5 markup.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2021

IRS Clarifies Partial Plan Termination Relief Under 2020 Legislation

On April 27, the Internal Revenue Service issued informal guidance on partial plan terminations as part of the COVID-related tax relief provided under The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The Relief Act was intended to provide a measure of relief for qualified plan sponsors that experienced layoffs due to COVID-19.

Source: Groom.com, May 2021

Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal and ranking Republican member Kevin Brady on May 3 reintroduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021. The bill follows the bipartisan model of success that led to the enactment of the SECURE Act in December 2019, balancing provisions sought by consumer groups with changes sought by providers of retirement plan services, and drawing together legislative proposals that have been introduced by members of Ways and Means.

Source: Americanbenefitscouncil.org, May 2021

Senate Bill Would Allow 401k Match for Student Loan Payments

Student loan payments would be entitled to earn "matching" 401k retirement contributions from employers under a bill introduced by Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden. The proposal would enable Americans to build retirement savings while repaying their student debt even if they can't afford to make their own contributions to a 401k plan.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), May 2021

Senators Collins, Warner Introduce Bill to Boost Retirement Savings Plans

Senators Susan Collins and Mark Warner have introduced the SIMPLE Plan Modernization Act to provide greater flexibility and access to small businesses and their employees seeking to use the SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) plans as a retirement savings option.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2021

American Rescue Plan Act Contains Many Employee Benefits Related Provisions

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law. Many of the provisions in this sweeping legislation bring changes to the employee benefits world of which employers should take note of and which are summarized here.

Source: Benefitsnotes.com, April 2021

Expanding Coverage Likely Next Target for Lawmakers

With the multiemployer relief legislation cleared from Congress' docket, look for policymakers to turn to efforts to expand retirement plan coverage, ARA staff explained during a March 23 NAPA webcast. Will Hansen, Chief Government Affairs Officer at the American Retirement Association, and Andrew Remo, the organization's Director of Legislative Affairs, offered their take on the legislative outlook for the rest of the year, as well as what retirement policy provisions we may see in forthcoming legislation.

Source: Asppa.org, March 2021

Consolidated Appropriations Act: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know About Retirement Plan Relief

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 is mostly known for the $900 billion it provided in additional stimulus funding for pandemic relief. But the law also contains several useful provisions for retirement plans, including non-COVID disaster emergency relief, multiemployer, and defined benefit plan changes, and updates to partial plan terminations. All of these provisions are discretionary and have very narrow applicability. Regardless, plan sponsors should take the time to understand the relevant parts of the law and see whether the various provisions might benefit their organizations and plan participants.

Source: Bdo.com, March 2021

DOL Nominee Says Cybersecurity, Retirement Savings High Priority

Julie Su, who was nominated to serve as Deputy Secretary of Labor, spent much of her nomination hearing defending her record as California's labor secretary, but she did field a couple of questions about retirement policy.

Source: Asppa.org, March 2021

Freeze on 401k Contribution COLAs Removed From Stimulus Bill

The American Retirement Association announced Thursday that, after a week of intense lobbying by the industry advocacy organization, the freeze on the annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for contributions to defined contribution plans contained in the stimulus bill supported by President Biden has been pulled.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, March 2021

ERISA Fiduciaries Under a Biden Labor Department: What Is on the Horizon?

President Biden has been in office for 34 days and his nominee for Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh, has not yet been confirmed. Nonetheless, several issues in the ERISA fiduciary space have already garnered the new administration's attention and there are certain clues about how this Department of Labor may impact the regulation and enforcement of ERISA's fiduciary standards.

Source: Morganlewis.com, February 2021

COVID Relief Bill Puts Ceiling on DC Plan Limits

As part of the push to enact a nearly $2 trillion stimulus bill, the House Ways & Means Committee moved forward February 11th with a proposal to freeze retirement plan contribution limits to help offset the cost of multiemployer plan relief. On a party-line vote of 25-18, the committee approved the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021.

Source: Asppa.org, February 2021

SECURE Act 2.0: Key Provisions Affecting Retirement Plans

Late last year, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, a bipartisan legislative proposal that includes changes designed to encourage plan adoption, promote retirement savings, and fix certain plan administration problems. As retirement income issues gain an expanding focus, broker-dealers, RIAs, and their advisors need to understand changes that could impact their clients. This article comments on a number of the key provisions.

Source: Brokerdealerlawblog.com, February 2021

Multiemployer Plan Bailout Caps Benefit Plan Limits

Legislation before the House Ways & Means Committee plans to help pay for a multiemployer plan bailout by utilizing a budget gimmick that would freeze retirement plan contribution limits, though not for collectively bargained plans. More specifically, the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021, included as subtitle H of a nine-part package that the committee plans to mark up this week, would impose a cost-of-living freeze.

Source: Asppa.org, February 2021

Committee Chairmen Introduce Multiemployer Pension Plan Reform in House

Representative Neal, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Representative Scott, Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, introduced nearly identical bills, the "Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021," into the committees they chair. This article covers the key multiemployer plan provisions of the bills, particularly from the standpoint of contributing employers.

Source: Octoberthree.com, February 2021

2021 Could See More Retirement and Health Legislation

There is optimism that one or more savings-focused bills could be enacted in 2021. Several introduced during the past two years will likely be re-introduced in the 117th Congress.

Source: Futureplan.com, January 2021

Rep. Neal Releases Policy Priorities for Equity in Retirement Security

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal has laid out his party's vision for economic equity in health care and retirement. In a letter included in his Policies and Priorities report, Neal says one of their priorities is increasing retirement security for U.S. workers, which would be achieved by policies strengthening Social Security benefits, growing multiple employer plan participation, and mandating automatic enrollment for 401k plans.

Source: Plansponsor.com, January 2021

What Labor Nominee Walsh Means for the Fiduciary Rule's Future

President Biden named Boston Mayor Martin Walsh as his nominee for Secretary of Labor. Walsh's nomination raises questions for the future of the DOL's fiduciary rule, which regulates investment fiduciaries under ERISA. In particular, the new fiduciary rule guidelines promulgated by the DOL in December 2020 appear to be in jeopardy under a Biden administration with Walsh as Labor Secretary.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, January 2021

Retirement Plan Relief in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 combines COVID-19 stimulus relief with several year-end appropriations bills, and it includes numerous provisions that will impact retirement plans. The retirement plan relief provisions in the CAA are divided between (1) qualified disaster relief (including actions Congress has historically taken to relax normal retirement plan distribution and withdrawal rules in light of a natural disaster) and (2) separate COVID-19 relief (including new rules for retirement plans in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic).

Source: Truckerhuss.com, January 2021

2021 Appropriations Bill Includes New and Expanded Relief for Employee Benefit Plans

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was passed and signed into law in late December 2020. In addition to funding for the current fiscal year, the Act also includes numerous provisions addressing employee benefit plans and providing a range of relief provisions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters. While many of these changes are new, some of them extend or add on to previous legislation issued earlier in 2020 under the CARES Act. This article describes the key provisions of the Act applicable to employer-sponsored welfare and retirement plans.

Source: Huntonak.com, January 2021

Appropriations Act Includes Several Provisions Applicable to Qualified Retirement Plans

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 includes several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. A relaxation of the partial plan termination rules should provide relief to plans which see unusual turnover in the number of active participants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other provisions, including an amendment of the CARES Act which allows coronavirus related distributions to be made from money purchase pension plans, may provide retroactive relief to plan sponsors.

Source: Reinhartlaw.com, January 2021

Senate Tilt Portends Big Policy Shifts

The election of the two Georgia Senate Democratic candidates and the resulting shift in control of the U.S. Senate could have profound implications for President-elect Joe Biden's policy agenda, including retirement plans.

Source: Asppa.org, January 2021

Qualified Retirement Plan Relief in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 contains various relief provisions applicable to qualified retirement plans. This article summarizes provisions in the Act, including the temporary rule preventing partial plan terminations, coronavirus-related distributions, and qualified disaster distribution and loan relief provisions.

Source: Shermanhoward.com, January 2021

Year-End Stimulus Bill Effectively Extends Key Cares Act 401k Provisions

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which includes the much-heralded coronavirus stimulus package that has been the subject of intense negotiations in recent months. For 401k plans, the Stimulus Act's provisions in many ways replace or extend similar provisions that were contained in the CARES Act.

Source: Compliancedashboard.net, January 2021

Retirement Plan Provisions in the New COVID-19 Relief Acts

The recently enacted COVID-19 Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020, both of which are part of the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021," includes the following provisions that expand and extend changes intended to provide relief to retirement plan sponsors and participants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other disasters.

Source: Bradley.com, January 2021

Partial Plan Termination Relief Provided in New Stimulus Bill

The latest COVID-19 relief bill, attached to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, enables certain retirement plan sponsors that laid off or furloughed employees due to the economic effects of the pandemic to avoid a partial plan termination.

Source: Plansponsor.com, December 2020

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021: Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

The Act relaxes several normally rigid health, welfare, and retirement plan rules in light of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, easing the financial impact of pandemic-caused employment changes while instituting new rules related to surprise medical billing. This article covers the Act's effects on employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Source: Jacksonlewis.com, December 2020

Congress Provides Retirement Plan Relief

Congress passed, and the President signed, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. This bill contains over seventy new tax policies, extensions, refinements, and other tax-law clarifications. Within its over 5000 pages is The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act. The TCDT Act provides that the 10% early withdrawal penalty does not apply to qualified disaster distributions; that special rules apply to retirement plan distributions used for qualified disaster area home purchases; and for increases in the limit for retirement plan loans made because of a disaster.

Source: Graydon.law, December 2020

Bill to Expand MEPs to 403bs Introduced in Senate

A bipartisan trio of U.S. Senators has introduced legislation that would expand Multiple Employer Plan access to 403b plans, along with other MEP enhancements.

Source: Asppa.org, December 2020

COVID Relief Bill Includes Retirement Relief

There's some great news for plan sponsors in the COVID relief bill, a "temporary rule preventing partial plan termination." Once approved and signed into law, sponsors of defined contribution retirement plans can avoid the partial plan termination rules if the active participant count as of March 2021 is 80% of the active participant count at the time the national emergency was declared.

Source: Asppa.org, December 2020

Congress Looking to Change or Even Abolish Key 401k Provision

The SECURE Act, which was signed into law last December, included a provision that pushed up the age for mandatory retirement plan distributions from 70 to 72. Now, lawmakers are hoping to pass another retirement bill that's being informally called SECURE Act 2.0 by early next year. A provision in the bill would push distributions up even further, to age 75.

Source: Yahoo.com, December 2020

Legislation Would Mandate ESG Policies Among Retirement Plans, Advisors

Unhappy with the Department of Labor's regulatory efforts to curtail environmental, social and governance investing, a group of House Democrats introduced two bills requiring retirement plan fiduciaries and investment advisors to adopt sustainable investment policies.

Source: Napa-net.org, December 2020

SECURE Act 2.0 Would Solve Longstanding Pension Problems

Building on the framework of the SECURE Act, Representatives Richard Neal and Kevin Brady have introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, already being referred to as SECURE Act 2.0. SECURE Act 2.0 contains changes that would further encourage plan adoption and retirement savings, as well as solutions to operational problems that have bedeviled plan sponsors for many years.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, December 2020

DOL Drops Off Final Proxy Voting Rule at OMB

It was a short week, but a busy one for the Labor Department, as it dropped off a second final rule at the OMB for evaluation. The final rule on "Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights" was received at the Office and Management Budget on Nov. 25, just a day after the final rule on its proposed advice package, "Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees," had been delivered there.

Source: Napa-net.org, November 2020

ESG Investing in Retirement Accounts: Down But Not Out

Proponents of environmental, social, and governance investing may have good news on the horizon. In particular, good news that could resuscitate ESG investing in retirement accounts following the DOL's recent blow to the practice. Representative Andy Levin is reportedly in the process of drafting two bills that would require investment advisers to incorporate ESG investing in retirement savings accounts.

Source: Mintz.com, November 2020

Congress Mulls Expanding 401k Enrollments, Easing Retirement Fund Withdrawals

A proposed law to increase the age for mandatory retirement fund withdrawals and to boost 401k enrollment may be stuck for now in the lame duck Congress, amid legislative gridlock over new COVID-19 relief.

Source: Ai-cio.com, November 2020

SECURE 2.0 -- the Securing a Strong Retirement Act

On October 27, 2020, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Neal and Ranking Member Brady released the Securing a Strong Retirement Act. The bill builds on changes made by the 2019 SECURE Act and may provide a template for further improvement of our current retirement savings system. This article reviews elements of the new proposal affecting private, single-employer retirement plans.

Source: Octoberthree.com, November 2020

What's Next? The Post-Election Future of Employee Benefits Policy (Retirement Policy Edition)

Retirement policy has experienced more bipartisanship than most areas of legislative activity and that is likely to continue. However, a Democratic White House, despite a Republican-controlled Senate, improves the prospects for consideration of many Democratic priorities. A Biden administration will also mean a shift in the regulatory agenda. This is a 16-page detailed summary of the probable impact of a Biden presidency on retirement policy.

Source: Americanbenefitscouncil.org, November 2020

What the DOL Could Look Like Under Biden

Joe Biden's presidential election win could have a big impact on the DOL and the coming months will determine how quickly the agency moves forward with new rule proposals. Reversing the investment advice rule "will be priority No. 1" for the DOL under a new administration, according to Jason Roberts, CEO of the Pension Resource Institute. "Get ready for a true fiduciary rule 3.0," he said. The new administration is also likely to revisit the advisory opinion on the use of private equity in DC plans, Mike Hadley, partner at David & Harmon.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), November 2020

Tax Benefits for Retirement Distributions for LTC Insurance

Senator Patrick Toomey has introduced S. 4820, legislation that would permit tax-free retirement savings distributions of up to $2,500 per year -- indexed for inflation -- that are used to purchase long-term care insurance. The arrangements to which the legislation applies would include qualified retirement plans, 403(a) and 403b plans, governmental 457(b) plans, and IRAs.

Source: Futureplan.com, November 2020

Massive New Retirement Bill Would Expand, Mandate Auto-Enrollment

Section 101 of Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020 is titled, "Expanding automatic enrollment in retirement plans." We all know how important the increasingly popular concept of auto-enrolment has been for increasing 401k plan participation rates, so any effort to further boost its use is welcome news to retirement plan advisors. This article takes a closer look at this particular provision of the newly introduced bipartisan retirement reform bill.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, October 2020

SECURE Act 2.0 Introduced in House

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady introduced the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to help a greater number of Americans successfully save for a secure retirement. The bill builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019.

Source: House.gov, October 2020

Bill Would Let 403bs Use PEPs

Nonprofits and colleges would able to join the SECURE Act's much-anticipated pooled employer plans under a bill introduced last week by Rep. Ron Kind. If the bill passes, it will be very big news for any business that is lining up to become a pooled plan provider. There is expected to be a flood of applications for that status, once the DOL finalizes its criteria for those plan providers.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), October 2020

Biden Proposes 401k Change to Equalize Benefits

Biden's proposal is designed to equalize benefits across the income levels through a tax credit. Although the details are still somewhat hazy, Biden's camp says that low- and middle-income workers would get a comparable tax break to high-bracket earners.

Source: Cpapracticeadvisor.com, October 2020

Biden's 401k Plan Is Vague, but Worth Paying Attention To

Policymakers have had little luck in reforming the tax structure for 401k defined contribution plans for decades. Biden is going to try if he wins the upcoming presidential election, and that has important implications for retirement savers.

Source: Morningstar.com, October 2020

House Bankruptcy Bill Would Impact Retirement Plans

H.R. 7370, the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act of 2020, has been introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler. This bill would modify provisions related to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, including expanding claims and priorities for payment of benefits for employees and retirees, and protections related to reduction or denial of benefits.

Source: Futureplan.com, October 2020

Advisors Mixed on Biden's Plan to Replace 401k Deductions With Flat Tax Credit

The Biden proposal restructures the 401k contribution incentive by replacing the deduction with a tax credit, which is estimated to be 26%. Presumably, the tax credit would be refundable so that even workers with no tax liability would benefit from putting $1,000 into a 401k plan. As under current law with non-Roth plans, earnings would continue to accrue tax-free, and withdrawals at retirement would continue to be taxed as regular income. The proposal, which Biden has yet to flesh out, may have more negatives than positives, according to one advisor.

Source: Fa-mag.com, September 2020

Election 2020: Retirement Policy Positions

We are nearing the final stretch of the 2020 campaign. What have the parties proposed for the future of the U.S. retirement system? Here is a chart that summarizes the policy documents prepared by the parties outlining their goals for both the private retirement system and Social Security.

Source: Groom.com, September 2020

Examining Joe Biden's Retirement Savings Tax Credit Proposal

One of the provisions in Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's platform would replace the tax deduction that workers get when they contribute to their workplace retirement plan with a tax credit. Experts steeped in the retirement planning industry wonder if the Democratic candidate's proposed incentives are enough to prompt lower-income workers to save sufficiently for retirement.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2020

Biden Retirement Proposal Would Upend Traditional 401k Plans

A little-noticed feature of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's tax plan would flip the incentive structure of a retirement system grounded for nearly a century on the tax-deductibility of saving. Instead of pretax contributions, everyone would get a flat tax credit.

Source: Rollcall.com, August 2020

No "Earth-Shattering" Retirement Proposals in Biden Platform

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has issued his plan for helping American seniors retire more successfully, dubbed "The Biden Plan for Older Americans." The platform promises to reinforce Social Security and Medicare, though it lacks major economic policy reforms of the type preferred by more progressive Democrats.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2020

Pension, 401k Registry Bill Resurfaces

Workers are increasingly responsible for making sure they have enough money to retire. But moving from job to job is now the norm and pensions get left behind and 401ks fall by the wayside. People who try to find old plans often can't locate employers that have changed names, merged, relocated, or terminated a plan. A perennial proposal just reintroduced in Congress would do some good: establish an online database of employer retirement plans so workers and retirees can locate old pensions and 401k accounts.

Source: Bc.edu, July 2020

New COVID 401k Catch-Up Bill Introduced

A quartet of GOP senators have introduced new legislation that would allow individuals facing financial challenges who are unable to make contributions to their tax-advantaged retirement accounts in 2020 to make catch-up contributions to these accounts in the coming years.

Source: Napa-net.org, July 2020

"Lost and Found" 401k Bill Resurfaces

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is again pressing for a retirement account "lost and found" system that would help workers keep track of their savings in plans sponsored by former employers. Last week the Democratic senator from Massachusetts introduced the bill, the Bipartisan Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act of 2020, which is similar to legislation she and other members of Congress have co-sponsored in the past. The bill tasks the Treasury Department with building an online system to track accounts.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), July 2020

The HEROES Act: Key Retirement, Health and Welfare, and Tax Provisions

The House of Representatives recently passed the fourth round of legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The HEROES Act is unlikely to advance in the Senate, and the White House has threatened to veto the bill. However, the Act reflects the House Democratic majority's priorities, and some of the provisions could be included as part of a bipartisan compromise package. This alert first summarizes key provisions of the HEROES Act impacting retirement plans and health insurance. It then discusses other provisions that may impact employers and individuals.

Source: Groom.com, May 2020

Retirement Plans and the SECURE Act: What Employers Need to Know

The SECURE Act makes it easier for employers to offer a retirement benefit, improves plan design and operation, and affords participants more options and flexibility. While the SECURE Act contains over 30 provisions, employers should focus on specific provisions that affect group benefit plans or enhance current offerings. This article discusses the key provisions of the SECURE Act that are relevant to retirement plan sponsors.

Source: Francisinvco.com, May 2020

House-Passed Stimulus Bill Includes RMD Relief, PPP Clarity

Included among the retirement-based provisions are additional relief from required minimum distributions, clarifications to the retirement provisions enacted under the CARES Act, funding relief for single-employer pension plans, relief for troubled multiemployer pension plans and an assortment of other changes.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2020


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