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Workers “Confident” Toward Retirement Prospects, Highest Since 1990

April 23, 2019

The News: Following the GOP Tax Cuts, the U.S. economy continues to accelerate.  With lower income tax rates across the board, workers and families now have more money to spend as they see fit.  As a result, more Americans are buying homes, the stock market continues to topple records, and retail sales are rising.

Dispelling notions from economic deniers that tax reform’s affects were merely a “sugar high,” among these steady gains, this strong economy is fueling American workers’ financial wellbeing—not just for a season—but rather for the long run.

The details: Over eight out of 10 workers are “optimistic about their ability to live comfortably in retirement,” according to a recent report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, worker confidence toward retirement prospects haven’t been this high since 1990.  A spokesperson from ERBI told the WSJ that “the strong economy is likely responsible for this year’s optimistic results.”

According to the survey:

  • “Confidence among workers and retirees in having enough for both retiree medical and long-term-care expenses rose”;
  • More than 65 percent of workers reported that they or their spouse have put away money toward retirement; and
  • Over two-thirds of workers feel “confident to retirement comfortably,” with nearly a quarter of workers reporting feeling “very confident.”

The ERBI spokesperson told the WSJ, “in a strong economy, many people are able to save more and take steps to plan for retirement, which also boost confidence.”

Republicans continue work to build on this success: Ways and Means Committee Republicans have been working across the aisle toward comprehensive legislation to make it easier for folks to save more and earlier for retirement.

Last year, as part of Tax Reform 2.0, the House passed with bipartisan support two pieces of legislation to enhance retirement savings vehicles for families while making it easier for Main Street businesses to offer retirement plans to their workers.

Earlier this Congress, the Committee passed H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 – or the SECURE Act.

This legislation, which cleared the Committee unanimously and built off the Republican-led retirement savings legislation from the 115th Congress, eases administrative burdens for local job creators who offer 401(k) or IRA plans to their workers.  It also modifies current age requirements to reflect today’s changing workforce: the current age limit for making contributions to traditional IRAs is eliminated; and people are now required to pull from their accounts at the age of 72, instead of 70 and a half under current law.

Additionally, our bill builds on the expansions made to 529 education savings accounts as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, allowing 529s to help even more students by allowing accounts to be utilized for apprenticeships, homeschooling, and student loans expenses.

The bottom line: Since this new tax code was signed into law, this economy continues to work for families and Main Street businesses.  Republicans are committed to continue advancing policies that build on tax reform’s successes so all workers can save even more and earlier for their futures.