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It is an unfortunate fact that there are too many Americans inadequately prepared for retirement. According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, a full 43 percent of workers are projected to fall short of the income they will need in retirement. While the problem can be defined singularly as a lack of savings, there are multiple solutions. Such a variety is critical, because different workers and employers face different needs when it comes to saving for retirement.
A number of these solutions are included in the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 has been introduced in both the Senate and the House. It contains a number of ideas for increasing retirement plan participation, including open multiple-employer plans (MEPs), increasing start-up credits for small businesses, and eliminating the cap on automatic enrollment contributions. In addition, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), who has long championed retirement sponsorship among small businesses, recently chaired a Senate Health, Labor and Pensions subcommittee hearing on Exploring The ‘Gig Economy’ And The Future Of Retirement Savings. During the hearing, the U.S. Chamber testified about the how innovation, flexibility and a positive business environment, will be crucial to protect workers’ financial futures. The Chamber noted that open MEPs could be a useful tool for gig economy workers – a sentiment shared by Senator Enzi.
Furthermore, these conversations are not happening just on Capitol Hill. POLITICO recently convened a bipartisan group of 15 leading policymakers to identify solutions to the growing U.S. retirement crisis. The resulting report, Securing Retirement for New Generations, highlights a number of possible solutions, including simplifying retirement accounts and creating portable benefits.
The Chamber has consistently discouraged a single solution to increasing retirement savings. There is a diversity of businesses, workers, and workforces; therefore, there should be a diversity of solutions that incentivize employers to sponsor retirement benefit plans and encourage workers to participate in them.
To further this conversation, the Chamber will hold a conference on July 19, Raising Retirement, which will bring together interested parties to gather ideas and discuss how to raise retirement savings among all workers. Because there is no one solution to this problem, the Chamber welcomes input to help change the course of how Americans prepare for retirement.