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The chair and ranking member of the ERISA-focused Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee wrote to the Department of Labor (DOL) urging the agency to prioritize guidance on provisions relating to pension-linked emergency savings and promotion of employee ownership. The letter was written by HELP Chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ranking Member Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA). It was sent to DOL’s Acting Secretary, Julie Su, on May 30.

Other SECURE 2.0 issues on which the Senators urged priority guidance were the law’s required study on the impact of inflation on retirement savings, its provision regarding DOL review of its existing risk transfer interpretive bulletin “to determine whether amendments are warranted,” and its requirement that DOL and Treasury amend their regulations to permit a defined contribution retirement savings plan to consolidate certain required notices into a single notice. The Senators also encouraged DOL to prioritize guidance on SECURE 2.0’s rules regarding defined benefit annual funding notices, and its WORK Act provisions (provisions creating a $50 million grant program to help establish and expand employee ownership centers around the country), and to issue formal guidance on ESOP valuation standards.

The Sanders-Cassidy letter focuses on the ERISA provisions in SECURE 2.0. That is because that is where the HELP Committee’s jurisdiction lies. There are also many tax-related provisions, which are the jurisdiction of the Senate Finance Committee. Among the provisions that the retirement savings community is urging for priority consideration are the rules governing catch-up contributions (a drafting error puts at risk the authority to make catch-up contributions in 2024 and thereafter).

Prospects: The private sector is clamoring for guidance on many SECURE 2.0 provisions. Input from the bill’s key sponsors/authors should be helpful in accelerating the pace at which that guidance is issued.

NAIFA Staff Contact: Jayne Fitzgerald – Director – Government Relations, at jfitzgerald@naifa.org.