Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) co-authored a joint op-ed regarding their bipartisan work to address the looming retirement crisis. Earlier this month, Senators Collins and Hassan introduced the bipartisan Retirement Security Act to help small businesses offer retirement plans to their employees and encourage individuals to save more for retirement.
As the Chairman of the Senate Aging Committee, Senator Collins has long led efforts to ensure that more Americans are secure financially in their retirement years. Earlier this month, Senator Collins held a hearing to examine these challenges and discuss how to increase Americans’ retirement savings. Moreover, in addition to the Retirement Security Act, Senator Collins introduced the SIMPLE Plan Modernization Act earlier this month with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) that will make retirement savings plans more accessible to more Americans.
Click HERE or see below for the joint op-ed by Senators Collins and Hassan:
“The Looming Retirement Crisis”
Seacoast Online | By: U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
While Tom Brady seems to never age, the fact is, the rest of us do.
We represent states with aging populations, and we both know how difficult it is for many older Americans trying to get by in their retirement years. From the cost of health care and prescription drugs to home heating, too many of our friends and neighbors struggle financially to make ends meet during what are supposed to be their golden years.
The numbers are staggering.
According to the nonpartisan Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, there is an estimated $7.8 trillion gap between the savings that American households need to maintain their standard of living in retirement and what they actually have saved. And a recent Gallup poll found that only 54 percent of working Americans believe that they will have enough money to live comfortably in their retirement years.
That is why we have worked together to introduce a bipartisan bill, the Retirement Security Act, which would empower more Americans to boost their retirement savings.
There are many reasons why Americans are struggling in retirement, including a decline in pensions, the rising costs of long-term care, and increased life expectancy.
Another contributing factor is that employees of small businesses, which make up the majority of businesses in this country, are less likely to participate in or even have access to employer-based retirement plans. As a result, more than 30 million American workers lack access to a work-based plan to save for retirement.
We hear from small business people about this issue all the time. Small business owners want to help their employees save for retirement but face technical and financial challenges in doing so. The Retirement Security Act would enable more small businesses to provide retirement plans for their employees.
Our bill would improve access to work-based retirement plans by reducing the cost and complexity of offering these plans, especially for small businesses, and encouraging individual employees to save more for their retirement.
First, our bill would make it easier for businesses to enter into multiple employer plans. These types of plans allow small businesses to join together to share the administrative burden of providing a retirement plan, lowering costs overall.
The bill would cut red tape to make it less expensive for small businesses to maintain a retirement plan.
And it would simplify compliance for small businesses that choose to provide employees with employer matches on contributions up to 10 percent of pay, encouraging more generous retirement contributions by businesses.
Taken together, these steps would significantly increase the retirement savings of many Americans, and they couldn’t come a moment too soon.
We are on the verge of a retirement crisis.
While Social Security is a critical safety net - one that we have to protect for all - it was only designed to be part of the retirement equation.
Ensuring more Americans are secure financially in their retirement years is one of our highest priorities. While a $7.8 trillion retirement savings shortfall may seem difficult to overcome, New Englanders remember another deficit that many people once thought was insurmountable: the 28-3 score in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI.
We hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will take the Patriots’ mantra to “do your job” to heart and work with us to pass this important, commonsense bill.
We need to do far more to help people in New Hampshire, in Maine, and across our country plan and save for retirement. The Retirement Security Act is a strong step forward.