As part of a larger federal appropriations bill, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, was able to get his proposal to offer employees of small businesses better retirement benefits through the U.S. House.
Buchanan introduced his “Retirement Security for American Workers Act” back in February 2017. When he talked about the proposal at the end of 2016, he said his legislation “makes it less costly for small businesses to offer retirement benefits, and could help the more than 76 million Americans who work for companies that do not offer the opportunity to save for a secure retirement.”
Buchanan’s bill allows small businesses to work together in “multiple employer plans” (MEPs) which he insists will lower costs and make more businesses offer retirement benefits. The Florida Republican cited figures from the Pew Charitable Trusts which shows more than a third–35 percent–of workers in the private sector over the age of 22 work for employers that do not offer retirement benefits.
On Tuesday, Buchanan weighed in on his bill clearing the U.S. House.
“Today’s House passage brings us one step closer to helping millions of hardworking Americans who enter retirement without adequate savings,” Buchanan said. “We should be doing all we can to help people invest in their future and achieve financial security.”
Buchanan had some momentum with his bill at the end of last year, getting it through the House as part of U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s, R-Penn., “Family Savings Act” in October 2018 but the bill did not clear the U.S Senate.
In March Buchanan brought the bill back and he was able to roll it into the “Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act” which makes it easier to offer annuities in 401(k)s and 403(b)s and raises the age for taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from 70.5 to 72. The bill was introduced by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and had the support of U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, the top Republican on the committee.
First elected to Congress in 2006, Buchanan represents parts of Southwestern Florida in Congress. Buchanan currently is one of the co-chairs of the Florida delegation and he leads Republicans the U.S. House Trade Subcommittee.
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