Republican Leader on the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered remarks on the House floor introducing the Securing a Strong Retirement (SECURE 2.0) Act of 2022, which strengthens Americans’ retirement savings. This bill builds upon the Securing a Strong Retirement (SECURE) Act of 2019.
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Rep. Brady’s full remarks appear below.
Thank you, Madame Speaker,
I am pleased to join with my friend, Chairman Richie Neal, in jointly reintroducing SECURE 2.0, which will help hard working Americans approach retirement with both confidence and dignity.
For five years now, Members of the Ways and Means Committee have worked tirelessly together to ensure Americans have the resources to save for a secure retirement.
A lot of hard work and negotiations has got us to this point, and I’m grateful to Chairman Neal for his commitment to get this bill across the finish line and to the President’s desk.
It’s important to remember how far we’ve come in our joint efforts to help Americans better prepare for their long-term financial goals.
Following the historic re-write of our tax code, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Republicans moved on building on the success for years to come.
That happened when Republicans and Democrats worked together to develop and enact the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act, known as SECURE, the most significant retirement legislation to become law in over a decade and a half.
We made it easier for Main Street businesses to offer retirement plans to their workers by easing administrative burdens, cutting down on unnecessary and often costly paperwork.
The SECURE Act made significant improvements to our country’s retirement system, and today will do even more.
A recent AARP survey found that rising prices are taking a big toll on workers, making it difficult to cover everyday expenses or save for the future.
In fact, with 40-year high inflation, nearly a quarter of workers reported their financial situation is worse today than it was last year.
The study also found that nearly 40 percent of workers say they have no emergency savings, with one out of five reporting they have nothing saved for retirement. Nothing.
Both groups peg rising prices of everyday goods as the biggest barrier to planning for their financial future.
Ensuring Americans have the resources they need for a prosperous retirement is a bipartisan priority.
And with American families’ paychecks falling further behind to rising prices, it’s really never been more important for Congress to help workers get back on track with their retirement plans.
With this bill, we build on the landmark provisions in the SECURE Act, enabling more workers – especially those of low income and modest income – to begin saving earlier and giving them peace of mind as they plan for the future.
Our bill, SECURE 2.0 improves workers’ long-term financial wellbeing, by helping more Americans save for retirement at every stage of their life.
SECURE 2.0 contains more than 20 provisions sponsored or co-sponsored by Republicans in stand-alone legislation.
By providing flexibility, for example, we make it easier for local businesses to tailor retirement plans to best fit the needs of their workers.
These reforms help Americans not only save earlier in their careers, but it helps families save longer, as well.
We expand access to workplace retirement by increasing the incentives for businesses, especially small businesses, to create new plans or join groups of plans while sharing the cost of administration.
To further help small businesses shoulder the burden of creating a new plan, our bill matches employer contributions with a new business tax credit. That can help a small business match up to the first $1,000 in matching contributions for that worker.
For those Americans who are further along in their career or already near retirement, our bill raises the amount these workers can contribute to “catch up” on their retirement savings as they near retirement, doubling it to $10,000 a year.
And because we want Americans to save throughout their lifetime, together we increase the age at which retirement plan distributions become mandatory to age 75 over time from 72 today.
These changes are especially important because many workers find themselves making more at the end of their careers and are open to focusing on retirement.
Those already in retirement often worry about the effects of mandatory taxable distributions on their long-term financial plans.
Another recent study by Edward Jones and Morning Consult found that 57 percent of Americans who prioritize paying off a student loan are now behind on their schedule in saving for retirement.
Our bill would allow employers to essentially match workers’ student loan repayments with contributions to their workers’ retirement plan.
This means for workers struggling to make ends meet under crushing student debt and rising prices, they’re able to tackle both paying off their debt and getting help in working toward a secure retirement.
Again, I want to thank Chairman Neal and the members of the Ways and Means Committee from both parties for their long-term and diligent efforts.
Together, we will ensure more hard working Americans are confident in their retirement.
With that, Madame Speaker, I reserve.