Are you set for retirement? Senators across the aisle want the government to size up your prospects.
Senators Todd Young (R-Indiana) and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) last week re-introduced a bill to create a Federal Retirement Commission.
If the legislation is ratified, the new commission would review private benefit programs across the country and recommend ways to improve financial security for retirees.
According to the sponsors, the legislation will help retirement plans keep pace with current employment trends: Traditional pensions have become less common, making 401(k) and other plans more important to American retirees. They also noted the difficulties of saving for retirement in a “gig economy” based on serial contract employment.
“With many individuals reaching retirement with little to no savings of their own, we must take a serious look at our current retirement programs and make the changes necessary to help secure the futures of so many hardworking Americans,” said Senator Young in a statement. “Our bill would enact a commission to better understand how we can strengthen private benefit programs and ensure our current and future generations have the tools necessary to plan for retirement.”
“The most important thing we can do to ensure Americans’ retirement security is to protect and strengthen Social Security,” Senator Booker said. “Beyond that, we must work to address the shortcomings that have resulted from the shift from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans like 401(k)s. This bill will advance the conversation on individual retirement savings at a time when far too many have been left without the retirement they’ve planned for.”
The Federal Retirement Commission would comprise the secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Commerce; two presidential appointees; and six appointees each from the Senate and House of Representatives.
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than 40% of Generation X will run short of money in retirement, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that almost half of private-sector workers don’t participate in a retirement savings plan through their employers.