<!-- Swiftype Variables -->

Legislation

Bipartisan retirement security package introduced in House

Representative Richard Neal, a Democrat from Massachusetts and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, left, speaks with Representative Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas.

A bipartisan group of legislators Friday introduced a bill that features core provisions of the Retirement Enhancement Savings Act and adds other measures that aim to bolster retirement security.

The Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, referred to as the SECURE Act, includes provisions that would make it easier for smaller employers to join open multiple-employer plans, ease non-discrimination rules for frozen defined benefit plans and add a safe harbor for selecting lifetime income providers in defined contribution plans.

The bill was introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the committee's ranking member, and Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa., who each sit on the committee and introduced the most recent version of RESA in the House last month.

"With this legislation, we're taking bold, bipartisan action to address our nation's retirement crisis," Mr. Neal said in a news release. "Providing more, and easier, ways to save allows workers to actively plan for their futures and avoid falling into poverty later in life. Boosting Americans' financial security in retirement supports families and strengthens our economy."

The legislation would also increase the auto-enrollment safe harbor cap to 15% from 10%. Moreover, the bill includes a provision that would require employers to allow long-term, part-time workers to participate in workplace 401(k) plans.

"We are creating opportunity for workers across the country with this bipartisan legislation to help them make their own decisions about their finances and retirement," Mr. Brady said in the release. "Our reforms will help families save more and earlier for the future, ensuring folks have the flexibility and control over their own savings they need for whatever life throws their way."

Wayne Chopus, president and CEO of the Insured Retirement Institute in Washington, commended the legislators efforts, particularly Mr. Neal who has made retirement security a top priority. "It's quite clear to me that Chairman Neal says what he means," Mr. Chopus said in a statement. "Three months ago, Chairman Neal put retirement security on his priority list and since then, we've had a hearing, negotiations, a new bill and a scheduled vote to advance it to the House floor. This is major progress."

The committee has scheduled a bill markup for Tuesday.