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June 15, 2022

Senate HELP Committee approves retirement bill

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved by voice vote June 14 S. 4353, the Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the Nest Egg (RISE & SHINE) Act, which is intended to be incorporated into ‘SECURE 2.0’ retirement legislation.

The bill, authored by Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC), would allow employers to offer emergency savings accounts, improve communications to retirement plan participants and transparency around lump-sum buyout offers for pension plan participants, and require plans to automatically re-enroll employees who decline to participate in the employer provided plan every three years. The bill also addresses topics covered in the House-passed retirement bill, including 403(b) multiple employer plans and increased access to plans for part-time workers.

During the markup, an amendment by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) on parity for tribal domestic relations courts and state domestic relations courts for dividing retirement assets was agreed to by voice vote.

Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) offered and then withdrew an amendment aimed at curbing the Department of Labor’s (DOL) guidance that threatened investigations of plans that allow open brokerage windows through which participants might invest in cryptocurrencies. Senator Murray expressed her intention to work with Senator Tuberville on mutually acceptable language before the bill reaches the full Senate.

An amendment by Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) to codify the Trump-era DOL rule on ESG investments in retirement plans was not agreed to, on an 11-11 vote.

An amendment by Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS) directing DOL to study the impact of inflation on retirement savings was agreed to by voice vote.

The House passed its ‘SECURE 2.0’ bill on March 29. The Senate Finance Committee may mark up its portion as soon as next week.

Text of the HELP Committee bill is available here.


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