Expanding Retirement Options for Working Americans Should be a Top Priority for Congress

Aliya Robinson testifies before the Senate Committee on Finance

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance at a hearing titled “Building on Bipartisan Retirement Legislation: How Can Congress Help?”   

Aliya Robinson, Senior Vice President for Retirement and Compensation Policy, testified on behalf of ERIC and its large employer member companies. Her testimony focused on expanding saving opportunities for workers and optimizing resources for retirement savings.

“The past year was difficult for many Americans; by expanding the avenues for workers to save, they will be better able to plan for their futures,” said Aliya Robinson, Senior Vice President of Retirement and Compensation, ERIC. “Lawmakers have the opportunity to create real, impactful legislation that would open pathways to financial security for millions of working Americans.”

To expand retirement savings for workers, ERIC recommended:

  • Increasing the age for required minimum distributions to age 75
        
  • Treating student loan payments as elective deferrals for the purpose of employer matching contributions
          
  • Providing a safe harbor for the recovery of retirement plan overpayments
       
  • Allowing for emergency savings accounts as part of retirement savings plans
     
  • Providing additional savings opportunities for those close to retirement by the increasing catch-up limits in plans
      
  • Modifying the definition of a highly compensated employee to encourage the inclusion of employees who meet the definition but are not on an executive or management level

  • Expanding cafeteria plans to allow participants additional pre-tax benefit options such as student loan repayment, disability insurance, long-term care insurance, longevity insurance, and retirement planning services

  • Strengthening retiree health care by extending Internal Revenue Code section 420

ERIC also urged Congress to pass legislation that will allow employers who offer retirement plans to optimize resources by eliminating unnecessary administrative burdens. Specifically, ERIC asked for lawmakers to:

  • Simplify reporting and disclosure requirements by eliminating redundant and unnecessary disclosures

  • Maintain electronic disclosure as a default distribution
      
  • Establish an Office of Retirement Savings Lost & Found within the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) that would serve as a repository for information about all lost retirement accounts accessible through a searchable online database
     
  • Prevent raising single-employer PBGC premiums to pay for non-retirement legislation

  • Protect ERISA preemption in efforts to increase retirement coverage

“It is important that outdated and unnecessary administrative burdens be eliminated, allowing employers, like ERIC’s large employer member companies, that offer retirement benefits to put as many resources towards those offerings as possible,” said Robinson.

Click here to read ERIC’s full written testimony.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.