Elected Republicans and Democrats in Washington are in the
midst of high-profile debates on myriad complex issues, but in recent weeks, a
flurry of retirement-related bills have been introduced, including some major
The month of May has been promising for proponents of
retirement security legislation, especially after the introduction of the
Retirement Security and Savings Act on May 20 by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and
Ben Cardin, D-Md. Their bill, a version of which was last introduced in 2019,
features more than 50 provisions aimed at getting people to save more for
retirement, including increasing the tax credit for small business starting a
new retirement plan; enhancing the $6,500 catchup contribution for those over
age 60, raising it to $10,000; improving access to guaranteed lifetime income
products and allowing employers to make matching contributions to retirement
accounts of employees paying off qualified student-loan debt.
Many of the provisions also are included in the Securing a
Strong Retirement Act of 2021, which was introduced May 4 by House Ways and
Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Ranking Member Kevin Brady,
R-Texas. The House bill was unanimously passed out of committee by voice vote
on May 5. It now heads to the full House, though a vote has yet to be
The Senate and House bills build on the Setting Every
Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, known as the SECURE Act, which
Congress passed and was signed into law in late 2019.
Hopes are high for passage of a SECURE Act 2.0 package —
like the current House and Senate proposals — this Congress.
"I am very much encouraged by the fact (that) despite
the partisanship in many other areas, good-government retirement legislation
remains an area of strong bipartisanship," said Kent Mason, a partner with
law firm Davis & Harman LLP in Washington. "It is my hope that we can
see a major retirement bill based mostly on Neal-Brady and Cardin-Portman
enacted this year or next year. This has a chance to happen this year, but
because of unrelated partisan pressures, it might not happen until next year.
But I do believe that by sometime in 2022, we are likely to have seen enactment
of this legislation."
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