In an op-ed for CNN Business, Roger Ferguson, president and CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA) says that now is the time to reintroduce legislation to help Americans get back on track with their retirement plans.
Ferguson notes that bipartisan proposals introduced last Congress would help Americans save for retirement at all stages of their career, particularly by having employers match employee’s student loan repayments with contributions to their retirement plans, writing:
“One of the most interesting proposals contained in both pieces of legislation would allow employers to essentially match an employee’s student loan repayments with contributions to the employee’s retirement plan. […] This holds tremendous promise for addressing two major financial challenges at once — the sometimes-crushing student debt burdening many workers in their 20s and 30s and the need to start saving for retirement as early as possible.”
The pandemic has interrupted plans for many Americans to save for retirement as they face financial and health challenges.
- According to a recent Pew Research study, half of U.S. adults reported that the economic impact of the pandemic will make it harder for them to achieve their long-term financial goals.
- A quarter of U.S. adults ages 50 or over expect that they will have to delay retirement due to the pandemic.
- Nearly 30 percent of U.S. adults say they worry every day or almost every day about their ability to save for retirement, according to the same study.
Congress should quickly address these challenges by passing the bipartisan Securing a Strong Retirement Act.
- The bill reflects the savings’ needs that workers face today, by allowing workers to pay down a student loan instead of contributing to a 401(k) plan and still receive an employer match in their employees’ retirement plan.
Support for the bipartisan bill continues to grow.
- The bill received the endorsement of AARP, with the advocacy group saying the bill will “make a number of improvements” to our nation’s retirement systems.”