McBath, Peters, and Blunt Rochester Introduce New Personal Savings and Retirement Bill

Legislation Ensures Workers Get Minimum Savings Contributions of 50 Cents per Hour, $20 per Week, Roughly $1,000 per Year

April 8, 2019

Washington, DC — Today, Reps. Lucy McBath (GA-06), Scott Peters (CA-52), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) are introducing H.R. 2120, The Saving for the Future Act, legislation to address the nation’s retirement savings crisis and help ensure that Americans are able to afford emergency expenses. The Saving For the Future Act establishes a minimum employer contribution to a savings plan of 50 cents per hour worked, which equals $20 per week and more than $1,000 per year. 

“For the one in three Americans who have no retirement plan or pension, the Saving for the Future Act provides a path to long-term financial security,” said McBath. “This legislation creates an opportunity for hard-working Americans to build wealth and to protect their families from inevitable unexpected emergency costs.”

“Most Americans don’t have the financial means to adequately save for retirement. The Saving for the Future Act will create automatic employer contributions, which increases opportunities for financial security and therefore, economic mobility. Now more than ever, benefits should follow the person, because most people don’t work for one company for their entire career. This legislation enhances proven models of employer-provided savings and invests in portable benefits, so Americans can save for a more prosperous future,” said Peters. 

“Over the last 50 years, retirement savings have declined by a dramatic 75 percent, and stagnated wages and an ever-increasing cost of living pose real challenges to retirement security for all Americans. These are alarming trends that we must address so that everyone has the opportunity to retire in dignity,” said Blunt Rochester. “By helping families save for their future and ensuring that their retirement benefits are portable and accessible, we are meeting these challenges head-on and giving workers the tools to save and thrive in the new economy.”

“55 million Americans lack access to a workplace retirement savings plan. AARP applauds Senators Coons and Klobuchar’s efforts to promote automatic enrollment and escalation in retirement plans, and their broad support of state efforts to increase retirement savings opportunities,” said David Certner, Legislative Counsel, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“The Saving for the Future Act will do more to reduce wealth disparity and improve the fortunes of working wage Americans than any single piece of legislation in Congress. This bill is bold, far-sighted, affordable, and pragmatic,” said Jim Kessler, Executive Vice President for Policy, Third Way.

Read a summary of the bill HERE.

Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate last week by U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The legislation is supported by the AARP, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the National Urban League, Prosperity Now, Third Way, and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).

At a time when three in ten American workers lack access to workplace retirement plans, and 45% do not participate in one, The Saving for the Future Act would help guarantee that all Americans – even those working part time – have some savings put away for retirement and emergency situations.

Under The Saving for the Future Act, men and women who work at a company with ten or more employees would be entitled to an employer savings contribution of at least 50 cents per hour worked into a savings plan, which could include existing plans, such as a 401(k). Employees at smaller companies would be able to save through federally provided “UP Accounts,” modeled after the popular Thrift Savings Plan for federal workers. UP Accounts would have low fees, could easily be transferred from job to job, and would be tailored to the employee’s age and savings needs. 

Businesses of all sizes complying would receive tax credits to help fund these contributions, and small businesses with 15 or fewer employees would receive credits covering a full half of the required contributions. Independent workers and employees at the smallest companies would receive access to UP Accounts and an individual tax credit to help them contribute.