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The Road to Pension Reform — Slow But Steady Progress

Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on SECURE 2.0 Legislation

August 11, 2021

As we previously reported, on May 5, the House Committee on Ways and Means advanced the bipartisan “Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021,” which is often referred to as SECURE 2.0, in a unanimous Committee vote.

On July 28, the Senate Finance Committee held a long-awaited retirement savings reform hearing titled, “Building on Bipartisan Retirement Legislation: How Can Congress Help?” Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), in their opening remarks, both noted that private retirement savings and retirement security reforms have had a history of bipartisan support in the committee. During the hearing, testimony was provided by the ERISA Industry Committee, the American Retirement Association, the AARP, and the Treasurer of the State of Oregon.

Committee members and the witnesses addressed a wide range of retirement-related matters (broader than SECURE 2.0) with the consensus that increasing participation in and expanding access to retirement savings programs was a bipartisan goal of the committee.

So, when will SECURE 2.0 pass?

Procedurally, the Senate Finance Committee hearing was an important next step in advancing bipartisan retirement savings reform. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to hold a bipartisan markup of its own SECURE 2.0 bill later this year. To the extent that House and Senate bills differ, the two differences between the two bills would need to be reconciled.

With Congress’ bipartisan focus on infrastructure, the need to approve appropriations to keep the federal government open, addressing the looming debt ceiling, and efforts of Congressional Democrats to advance a second reconciliation bill, there is very little time to focus on and advance other lower-tier priorities. Despite the bipartisan commitment to retirement savings reforms, there is a very low expectation that any version of SECURE 2.0 legislation will pass into law in 2021. We are optimistic, however, that 2022 passage for retirement savings reforms remains a realistic possibility.

MissionSquare Retirement will continue to advocate for and closely monitor relevant pension reform legislation in support of enhancing retirement security for those who serve their communities. We will provide regular updates on developments as they occur. Please contact your MissionSquare Retirement representative if you have questions.

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