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Washington Seeks to Put More Annuities in Employer Plans

January 10, 2018

A bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives aims to help employers offer annuities in their retirement plans, ThinkAdvisor writes.

Introduced Monday by Reps. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., and Lisa Blunt Rochester, D-Del., the Increasing Access to a Secure Retirement Act seeks to ensure employers abide by their fiduciary duty when offering products with guaranteed lifetime income in their retirement plans, according to ThinkAdvisor. The bill would require employers conduct a thorough search for insurers financially capable of meeting their obligations and ensure the products’ relative costs are reasonable, according to the bill.

The bill would not require employers to choose the lowest-priced products but they would be required to conduct periodic reviews, according to the bill.

Meanwhile, Reps. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., have reintroduced the Receiving Electronic Statements to Improve Retiree Earnings Act, or RETIRE Act, which would let employers send retirement statements electronically to cut administrative costs while letting plan participants still opt for paper communications, ThinkAdvisor writes.

A single four-page notice sent out to all recipients of retirement plan statements costs between $36 million and $60 million, the lawmakers say, according to the publication.

Meanwhile, current law requires employers mail paper versions of notices, disclosures and statements to retirees, according to Polis, ThinkAdvisor writes.

“Not only does it make retirement information more accessible but it helps the environment and reduces costs by cutting back on wasted paper,” he says in a statement cited by the publication.

The Insured Retirement Institute says in a statement cited by ThinkAdvisor that it’s committed to working with the lawmakers on the two bills.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the ThinkAdvisor article cited in this story, click here.