In the House's final vote before the Memorial Day break, a bipartisan majority overwhelmingly approved on Thursday a retirement reform package, 417-3.
The legislation, the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, referred to as the SECURE Act, includes provisions that make it easier for smaller employers to join open multiple-employer plans, eases non-discrimination rules for frozen defined benefit plans and adds a safe harbor for selecting lifetime income providers in defined contribution plans. It also increases the automatic-enrollment safe harbor cap to 15% from 10%.
The bill was introduced in late March by a bipartisan group of Ways and Means Committee members, including Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the committee's ranking member.
"With passage of this bill, the House made significant progress in fixing our nation's retirement crisis and helping workers of all ages save for their futures," Mr. Neal said in a statement. "The SECURE Act is a bipartisan success, filled with commonsense proposals authored by members from both sides of the aisle."
The retirement industry widely hailed the bill's passage.
"Fidelity applauds the House of Representatives for advancing bipartisan legislation to improve retirement security for American workers," said Dave Gray, head of workplace retirement solutions for Fidelity Investments, in a statement. "We believe enacting this legislation will deliver low-cost, high-quality solutions for millions of small business workers."
Phil Waldeck, president of Prudential Retirement, called the bill "the most significant legislation aimed at bolstering America's retirement system in more than a decade."
If signed into law, Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF, said the legislation "will holistically improve the retirement landscape for millions of retirees now and in the future. It will ensure that retirement plans cover more Americans and that they can save enough in such plans to fund sufficiently their retirement."