Retirement and Pensions

Ranking Member Scott and Committee Democrats strongly believe that, after a lifetime of hard work, Americans deserve a secure and dignified retirement. Yet, the retirement landscape has dramatically changed over the past decades. Workers are less likely to spend their entire career with one company and earn a guaranteed lifetime pension upon retirement. Nowadays, workers may change jobs or switch industries with greater frequency. They also often bear the full responsibility of saving and planning for retirement as well as managing their investment portfolios – and this is just the segment of the workforce who is fortunate to have a retirement savings account through their employer. Tens of millions of workers do not have access to an employer-provided retirement savings plan. Ranking Member Scott and Committee Democrats support innovative solutions to reduce this coverage gap, increase access to and adequacy of workplace retirement savings plans, and put more Americans on a path toward being able to live a stable retirement.

 

While Ranking Member Scott and Committee Democrats are fighting to help families plan and save for retirement, they also believe the retirement investments workers have made deserve sufficient protections. Right now, regulatory loopholes enable unscrupulous advisors to avoid their fiduciary duty to act in their retirement client’s best interest. In practice, this means that an unscrupulous advisor can sell a retirement client a particular financial product with sky-high fees that will yield a big commission for the advisor even if there may be an equally good – or better – investment with lower fees that comes with a smaller commission.  To get away with giving what’s referred to as “conflicted advice” and totally avoiding a fiduciary obligation to a retirement client, all an unscrupulous advisor would need to do is insert a boilerplate disclaimer that’s typically buried in the fine print. That’s wrong, and that’s why Ranking Member Scott and Committee Democrats are supporting the Department of Labor’s “conflict of interest” effort to close these regulatory loopholes and ensure advisors provide retirement investment advice that’s in their clients’ best interests.

 

As many as 100 multiemployer pension plans covering 1.5 million participants could become insolvent within the next ten years. With that in mind, Ranking Member Scott and Committee Democrats remain focused on and committed to responsibly fixing the multiemployer pensions system. In the weeks and months ahead, Committee Democrats will continue working on appropriate, responsible, and potentially bipartisan solutions. 

Key Legislation:

401(k) Fair Disclosure and Pension Security Act
Conflicted Investment Advice Prohibition Act of 2009
401(k) Fair Disclosure for Retirement Security Act

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