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The U.S. Senate today passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 as part of the fiscal 2020 spending bill, which the House passed on Tuesday. The SECURE Act will make it easier for small businesses to offer employee retirement plans. It will also give retirement savers greater flexibility to participate in plans and choose investment options and will encourage adequate savings amounts. The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) estimates that SECURE will result in 700,000 additional American workers saving for retirement.

“The big winners with the enactment of the SECURE Act will be American small businesses and especially workers preparing for retirement,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “SECURE gives more workers the opportunity to prepare for their post-retirement financial needs and gives all retirement savers greater flexibility to create plans meeting their individual needs.” 

Among the SECURE Act’s main provisions, it would:

  • Modify rules and address liability issues that discourage small employers from offering certain retirement plans to workers
  • Encourage the availability and the portability of annuity options within retirement plans for employees who would benefit from guaranteed income products
  • Require retirement plan providers to annually disclose the monthly lifetime income value of retirement accounts, so that workers can better gauge their financial security in retirement
  • Provide employers with tax credits for starting plans and for automatically enrolling workers into retirement plans
  • Allow long-term, part-time workers better access to employer-provided retirement plans
  • Permit parents of newborn or newly adopted children to withdraw up to $5,000 from retirement accounts without suffering early-withdrawal tax penalties

“SECURE has been a top priority for NAIFA,” Mayeux added. “Our advocacy team, including NAIFA’s grassroots network of agents and advisors around the country, has worked in support of the SECURE Act since it was first introduced. NAIFA is particularly grateful to Rep. Richie Neal (D-MA), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and the almost 60 members of Congress who were sponsors or co-sponsors of this important legislation.

“The SECURE Act was a focus when nearly 600 NAIFA members had meetings in the offices of their lawmakers on Capitol Hill as part of NAIFA’s Congressional Conference in May. The House of Representatives overwhelming passed the SECURE Act just days after the NAIFA Day on the Hill.

Throughout the summer and fall, individual NAIFA members met with lawmakers and staff to promote the SECURE Act, and others wrote letters of support for the legislation. Working with the American Council of Life Insurers, NAIFA helped members place letters to the editor explaining the benefits of the SECURE Act in several newspapers around the country.

Last month, NAIFA’s Mayeux signed onto a letter with 90 other CEOs from a wide range of organizations, including insurance and financial services companies and associations, urging Congress to pass the SECURE Act. In a separate letter to congressional leaders, a NAIFA member representing each state and the District of Columbia advocated for the legislation. Most recently, on December 4, 120 NAIFA members who attended NAIFA’s National Advocacy Meeting discussed SECURE with members of Congress and their staffs in meetings on Capitol Hill.

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