New Legislation to Increase Retirement Saving

Retirement saving continues to be a pressing issue for most Americans, as many reach retirement age with little to no savings. The SECURE Act, which was signed into law at the end of 2019, brought the first major legislative changes to retirement since 2006.  Looking to build upon and expand provisions in the SECURE Act, several bills are currently making their way through Congress.

In early May the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, also known as SECURE Act 2.0.  Later in the month, Senators Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-MD, reintroduced the Retirement Security and Savings Act. The legislation was first introduced by the Senators in 2019.

Both bills have similar measures aimed at helping Americans save more for retirement.

Key provisions include:

  • Raising the RMD age to 75  starting in 2032;
  • 401(k) catch-up contributions limits for those age 60 and over would increase to $10k. (Catch-up  increase starts at age 62 in the SECURE Act 2.0);
  • IRA catch-up contribution limits would be indexed for inflation, rather than a flat $1k for those over age 50, starting in 2023;
  • Part-time employees would be eligible to participate in their company’s 401(k) Plan after two consecutive years of service instead of three years. Part-time eligibility was implemented under the SECURE Act, and the effective date for the provision would remain January 1, 2021;
  • Increases the startup plan tax credit for small businesses;
  • Treatment of student loan payments as elective deferrals for purposes
    of matching contributions;
  • Creates a retirement savings “lost and found” aimed to help Americans locate old retirement plan accounts.

In addition to the above provisions, Secure Act 2.0 would also allow matching employer contributions to be treated as Roth, as well as require any workplace retirement plans established starting in 2022 to automatically enroll new employees.

Expanding and strengthening retirement security has bipartisan support, and because of this, we anticipate legislative changes could come by the end of the year.  The SECURE Act was enacted as a part of a spending bill at the end of 2019, and the next round of retirement plans changes may be enacted in a similar way.

Sources:

Rob Portman, Senator For Ohio, 2021, “Portman, Cardin Renew Call for Sweeping Reforms to Strengthen Retirement Security,” May 21, 2021 (Source)