May 6, 2021
Ways & Means approves 'Securing a Strong Retirement Act'
The House Ways and Means Committee May 5 approved by unanimous voice vote Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and ranking Republican member Kevin Brady's (R-TX) "Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021" (H.R. 2954), balancing provisions sought by consumer groups with changes sought by providers of retirement plan services, and drawing together bills that have been introduced by members of Ways and Means. As such, there were no amendments offered or approved other than Chairman Neal's substitute.
"We were pleased to work together to enact the SECURE Act last Congress — the most significant retirement legislation to become law in over a decade. While the SECURE Act made significant improvements to our country's retirement system, more needs to be done," Neal and Brady said. "That's why we are pleased to jointly reintroduce this next step, which will help Americans approach retirement with the confidence and dignity they deserve after decades of hard work and sacrifice."
The bill has strong bipartisan support, and Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said he hoped the cooperative effort would be recognized as a positive example of lawmakers working together to help their constituents. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) expressed a similar sentiment.
Key provisions of the bill include:
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) said he hoped the bill could be modified before floor consideration, possibly with provisions addressing ESOPs. Likewise, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) said he hoped the ESOP Fairness Act, to allow certain qualified over-the-counter securities to be treated as readily traded on an established securities market for the purpose of diversification requirements for employee stock ownership plans, could be included in a manager's amendment prior to floor consideration. Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) discussed her proposal to make improvements to the Saver's Credit.
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