Committee Republicans Continue Efforts to Endanger Retiree Savings

WASHINGTON – TODAY, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing entitled “Regulatory Barriers Facing Workers and Families Saving for Retirement.” Subcommittee Democrats stand ready to work on meaningful bipartisan solutions to help Americans achieve a secure and dignified retirement.  Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration’s policies and priorities are the actual ‘barriers facing working people and families saving for retirement’ – not regulations.

“We are in the midst of a retirement savings crisis.  Tens of millions of Americans who work in the private sector lack access to retirement savings plan at their jobs. This problem is particularly acute for people of color, as only 54 percent of African- American and Asian employees and 38 percent of Latino employees work for an employer that sponsors a retirement plan,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Gregorio Sablan (NMI-AL). “Congress should not be in the business of destabilizing efforts that increase workers' ability to save for retirement. And we should not go out of our way to undermine states' rights to implement their own innovative solutions.”

Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration are relentlessly fighting to delay and undermine the fiduciary rule, a rule that ensures workers and families aren’t ripped off when investing their retirement savings. Further or permanent delay of the fiduciary rule only hurts Americans saving for retirement.

"Americans deserve retirement investment advice that's in their best interest.‎ During today's hearing, Subcommittee Republicans and their witnesses continued their misguided attack of the fiduciary rule and pressed for further delay of it,” said Full Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03). “Additional delay of the fiduciary rule will not create jobs, will not strengthen working families, and will not restore balance to the economy – but it will endanger workers’ hard-earned retirement savings‎."

Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration have also championed irresponsible health care legislation that makes it more difficult for older workers to save for retirement by increasing their health care premiums. Through an age tax, older Americans could see premiums more than five times higher than what others pay for health coverage.

“Too many Americans are unprepared for retirement, either lacking access to retirement plans or saving very little in them, Dr. Jason Furman said at the hearing. “The net effect of [American Health Care Act] would be to reduce effective after-tax incomes for tens of millions of households, increasing their financial insecurity and causing them to cut back on a wide range of activities—including retirement savings. As such, this legislation has the potential to increase retirement insecurity along with its other costs in terms of worse health outcomes and greater financial insecurity.”

Economic Policy Institute (EPI) analyzed that, for every seven days the rule’s implementation is delayed, it will cost retirement savers $431 million over the next 30 years. In total, the proposed 60-day delay will cost workers saving for retirement $3.7 billion. Today's hearing is an affront to millions of Americans who deserve retirement investment advice that's in their best interest, and to those businesses that have spent millions of dollars to comply with the rule. Working people and families who work hard to save for retirement deserve common-sense protections.

FACT SHEET: Protect and Strengthen Working Families’ Retirement Savings

FULL TESTIMONY: Dr. Jason Furman, Ph.D., Peterson Institute for International Economics




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