The House on Tuesday passed a $1.4 trillion spending deal which includes a comprehensive retirement security package that now heads to the Senate.
The Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, referred to as the SECURE Act, was attached Monday to a fiscal year 2020 appropriations bill that must pass by Friday.
The House voted 297-120 in favor of an eight-bill package to which the SECURE Act was attached. It also voted 280-138 for a four-bill package that focused on national security measures. The two packages will now head to the Senate and ultimately the president's desk for his signature this week.
Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., president and CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, applauded the House vote Tuesday. The SECURE Act "takes important steps toward enhancing the private retirement system, including commonsense provisions that would encourage small businesses to offer retirement savings plans and encourage individuals to utilize the options that are available to enjoy retirement security," he said in a statement. "These changes expand the availability of employer-sponsored savings plans, offer encouragement for employees to participate in a plan, and expand the use of critical tax incentives."
The SECURE Act features wide-ranging provisions, including ones that 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. It also increases the automatic-enrollment safe harbor cap to 15% from 10%.
"Upon Senate passage and stroke of the president's pen, we can build on this broadly bipartisan legislation and start the real work of improving Americans' retirement security so that more workers are able to enjoy a dignified life in retirement," said Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and CEO of TIAA-CREF, in a statement.
The Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019, which would transfer funds from the Interior Department’s Abandoned Mine Land fund to help cover the pension benefit obligations of the United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan, Washington, and health-care benefits, is also attached to the spending package headed to the Senate.