U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) introduced legislation on Sept. 8 that seeks to expand access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.
The Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act, S. 4808, not only encourages small businesses to adopt retirement plans; it also seeks to make it easier for part-time workers to participate in retirement plans. Further, it expands the saver’s credit for low and middle-income workers and allows penalty-free withdrawals during emergencies and family hardships, like natural disasters, domestic abuse, and terminal illness.
“Americans deserve dignified retirements after decades of hard work, and our bill is an important step forward. In particular, I’m proud that we are making significant progress for millions of low- and middle-income workers, who are far less likely to have adequate retirement savings. These workers frequently have physical, demanding jobs, and often depend solely on their Social Security income. Too often, they simply do not have resources to last through retirement. Under our reforms, many more workers would access resources for retirement and see meaningful federal retirement contributions year after year,” Wyden said.
Wyden is the chair of the Senate Finance Committee while Crapo is ranking member.
“The EARN Act expands opportunities for Americans to increase their retirement savings and improves workers’ long-term financial well-being. Every member of the Finance Committee had a hand in drafting this legislation, and the broad range of ideas incorporated into the final bill is a testament to the power of bipartisanship,” Crapo said. “I worked closely with Chairman Wyden to get this bill to a place where it can be formally introduced today, and we will continue to work with our colleagues to push for its passage this year.”
These proposals were first considered by the Senate Finance Committee in a markup in June.