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Congressional retirement report calls for more action

Congress has to do a lot more to improve retirement security, said a report issued Wednesday by Democrats on the congressional Joint Economic Committee.

In the report, Retirement Security in Peril, the members call for modernizing Social Security and by raising the payroll tax cap and expanding benefits for some people, expanding access to defined contribution plans by allowing more open multiple employer plans and offering start-up credits for small businesses to help motivate them to offer retirement plans, among other steps.

"It is also important that policymakers secure the long-term stability of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.," the report said. "Congress has taken the approach of issuing short-term fixes for the program, and it should work to create a long-term solution to ensure that the PBGC's protections continue to cover workers' retirement benefits," which could include new ideas like the proposed Butch Lewis Act that would create a federal loan program for struggling plans.

"Finally, there needs to be new ways to entice employers and state and local governments to provide access to high-benefit, low-cost retirement plans," the report said.

The report was overseen by ranking committee member Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., who said in a statement that "Congress must take action to make certain that older Americans do not face an impending retirement crisis."