Mandatory retirement savings plans. Small-business tax credits. Infrastructure investing.
That's just a sampling of issues leading business groups would like the two leading candidates who are vying to be the next president of the United States to address. To get a better feel on where Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump stand on these and other topics, Pensions & Investments and 11 organizations recently sent the candidates some questions.
Concerns over “tax reform and deficit reduction impinging on benefit plans” were expressed by a number of groups, said Sam Gilbert, who gathered and will be submitting the questions. Mr. Gilbert is head of The Pension Forum and president of United Plan Administrators, a Westlake Village, Calif.-based consulting firm for small-business retirement plans.
“At a time with significant debt and low savings, any political policy that will limit the amount of savings is certainly not in the national interest,” Mr. Gilbert said.
In addition to P&I and The Pension Forum, participating organizations are: the Plan Sponsor Council of America, American Retirement Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Institute of Pension Administrators, National Retail Federation, National Small Business Association, Small Business Council of America, Small Business Legislative Council, Society of Professional Benefit Administrators and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
The American Retirement Association, Arlington, Va., for example, asked if the candidates will “preserve, or even enhance the current tax incentives for retirement savings,” and if so, how.
For a small-business owner, “the ability to use tax savings on his or her contributions to generate all or part of the cash flow needed to pay contributions for other employees, and the deferral of income tax on investment earnings, are critical factors in (his or her) decision to adopt and maintain a 401(k) plan,” said the ARA, which focuses on small and midsize employers.
The importance of these incentives for small-business owners is “so poorly understood,” the association has to keep bringing it up often, said Judy Miller, director of retirement policy for the ARA in a separate telephone interview with P&I.
Different groups will publish analyses of tax benefits and argue employers get all the savings. But they overlook that those incentives also are helping employers make contributions to their employees' accounts, Ms. Miller said.