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The Capitol and Reflecting Pool in Washington DC

Getting It Done in 2019: Retirement Legislation

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of politics these days. It seems that as a nation, we are not able to agree on much and, as a result, not much is getting done these days. This is possibly due to the fact that our opinions are too divergent on each and every topic — well, almost every topic. There does appear to be one topic that politicians can agree upon: Retirement. No, not theirs! (We should be so lucky!)

Both Democratic and Republican members of the House of Representatives (a.k.a. Congress) are acutely aware that most Americans are unprepared for retirement. For this issue, there seems to be consensus and, what is more, there is bi-partisan support for the solutions and the legislative changes needed to bring them about.

In fact, in 2018, during the 115th Congress, there was a bill known as RESA (Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018) that actually had support from both parties and was expected to pass; but unfortunately, the 115th Congress concluded without RESA making it to the floor for a vote. Basically, the shot clock ran out on RESA.

In 2019 for the 116th Congress, there is a very similar bill but with a sexier name: SECURE (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019). This bill is expected to have a higher priority and, therefore, is not expected to stall out the way RESA did. Simultaneously, the Senate is considering a similar bill called RSSA (Retirement Security and Savings Act). Looks like something is getting done!

What these bills intends to accomplish is:

  1. Reduce barriers (mostly costs) for smaller employers to open retirement plans for their employees by raising the small-plan tax-credit for setting new plans to $5,000.
  2. Remove the “one-bad-apple” ruling for Multiple-Employer plans (known as MEPS or PEPS).
  3. Increase the Auto-Enrollment cap in Defined Contribution plans from 10% to 15%.
  4. Increase the starting age of Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from 70-1/2 to 72.
  5. Promote safe harbors for Lifetime Income solutions (something we’ll be hearing more about).


For more information on this topic, please refer to the following articles:

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