by: Mike Bishop, iPSE-U.S. Co-President
As the 2019 congressional year wraps up, Congress has quickly moved to pass a last-minute omnibus spending bill in order to fund the government through 2020. This package of bills now goes to the U.S. Senate for a separate process of approval, and if passed, to the President’s desk who has already expressed his intent to sign the measure.
The passage of this federal spending bill is extremely significant not only because the deadline to fund the government is on December 20th, but because the House is scheduled to vote on Articles of Impeachment before the conclusion of the congressional year. The ongoing debates, hearings and media saturation over the impeachment process have been constantly overshadowing and even stalling some of the important legislation of congress needed to address this year.
This concession to fund the government provided both parties with bills to incorporate within the package – and this includes a key piece of legislation that we here at iPSE-U.S. have been following and supporting since its introduction.
The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or as it is commonly referred to as the SECURE Act, passed the House in a 297-120 vote. Originally approved earlier in the 2019 year by the House in an impressive 417-3 vote, this bill will bring about some of the most significant changes in U.S. retirement policy and regulation in decades.
Introduced and worked on for over three years within congress now, the bill has been a constant objective with bipartisan support. As a former member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I worked on a previous iteration of this legislation and while the final product may not be the perfect solution for everyone, it’s a significant step in the right direction. Its passage within the House is historic and we applaud the bipartisan efforts of members to include this long overdue policy upgrade within the final legislation of the year.
Key provisions of the SECURE Act include removing age limits for retirement contributions, allowing for certain plans to cover the cost of student debt or expenses related to a new baby or adoption, and expanding the ability for small businesses and Independent Workers to participate in retirement plans.
There is no question that the SECURE Act is the most impactful policy initiatives benefiting America’s retirement system in more than a decade. In particular, it will help our nation’s Independent Workers and small businesses both provide and secure robust benefits while giving Americans substantial incentives to enhance their financial security in retirement. Whether that be the new process to participate in small business retirement plans, being able to continue to work later in life, or by having an additional financial safety net to cover expenses related to growing their families and paying off student debt.
The inclusion of the SECURE Act within this federal spending bill is a true win for the Independent Workforce of America.
Mike Bishop, Co-President iPSE-U.S.