U.S. Senators Todd
Young, R-Ind., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., are announcing new legislation to
establish a federal commission charged with reviewing private retirement
benefit programs and submitting a report to Congress on how to improve
private retirement security in the United States.
would not review the Social Security program, as it is outside of its
scope,” according to a joint statement released this week.
retirement system faces major challenges in the modern economy, and research
shows that far too many households are unprepared for retirement,” the
statement said. “The Employee Benefit Research Institute predicts that over
40 percent of Gen X-ers will run short of money in retirement, and just
under half of all private-sector workers aren’t participating in a
retirement savings plan through their employer.”
systems have undergone significant changes over the past 40 years as
traditional pensions have become less common,” the statement said.
“Individuals must now prudently plan for their own retirement security
through retirement savings accounts like 401(k) plans. Further, today, our
economy is undergoing another shift, as workers are more likely to work in
the ‘gig economy,’ defined by serial employment or the contingent workforce.
For these workers, it is particularly difficult to save for their own
individuals reaching retirement with little to no savings of their own, we
must take a serious look at our current retirement programs and make the
changes necessary to help secure the futures of so many hardworking
Americans,” Young said. “Our bill would enact a commission to better
understand how we can strengthen private benefit programs and ensure our
current and future generations have the tools necessary to plan for
follows a report last year by the Government Accountability Office that
recommended the creation of an independent panel of experts to assess the
current system and make recommendations to improve the nation’s collective
retirement security. It has been nearly 40 years since a federal commission
has conducted a survey of this scope.
Federal Retirement Commission Act would create a commission charged with,
among other things, a comprehensive review of private benefit programs, with
a particular focus on moving from defined benefit to defined contribution
models; a review of private retirement coverage, individual and household
accounts balances, investment trends, costs and net returns, and retention
and distribution during retirement; and a review of societal trends,
including wage growth, economic growth, unique small business challenges,
serial employment, gig economy, health care costs, life expectancy, and
shrinking household size, that could lead future generations to be less
financially secure in retirement compared to previous generations.