WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) today forecasted that policymakers’ growing acknowledgement of the retirement planning challenges in the United States could help advance several industry-supported policy efforts, ultimately improving the retirement security outlook for many Americans. The analysis was presented at the IRI Marketing Summit 2015 during a discussion on the implications of legislation and regulation on retirement income products and services.
“There has never been more focus on retirement security issues in Washington, and there has never been a greater commitment from our policymakers to tackle these challenges head on,” IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said in a statement. “This presents a dynamic opportunity to advance sensible solutions to address the retirement income challenges facing many Americans so that they can achieve a financially secure and dignified retirement. With our knowledge of today’s retirement market and the needs of American consumers, our industry is well-positioned to help lead this effort.”
In support of her analysis, Weatherford reflected that last year was a defining moment for retirement income advocates, as the Treasury Department announced its final rule to facilitate access to longevity annuities in retirement plans. Turning to 2015, she noted the emergence of congressional caucuses focused exclusively on retirement security as well as several high-profile pieces of legislation with provisions to increase access to workplace retirement plans and expand features that help Americans save more for retirement. She also acknowledged regulatory initiatives at various agencies to improve Americans understanding of their retirement planning options.
Opportunities for enhancing retirement security in 2015:
· Retirement security legislation: Several bills are expected to receive considerable attention during the current Congress, including the Retirement Security Act and the Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act. Both bills proposes allowing more small businesses to join together to offer retirement plans to their workers, and contain provisions to expand automatic features in retirement plans.
· Lifetime income estimates: The Department of Labor is working on a rule to require retirement plan statements to include lifetime income estimates, which are designed to help workers understand how much monthly retirement income could be generated from their plan savings. The Lifetime Income Disclosure Act (LIDA), which was introduced during the last Congress, would also require the inclusion of these estimates on statements. IRI research found that 90 percent of workers want these estimates on their plan statements and find them useful, and 75 percent of workers said they would increase their retirement plan contributions after seeing these estimates.
· Variable annuity summary prospectus: Proposing a rule for a variable annuity summary prospectus and annual update remains on the SEC’s list of top priorities. IRI research has shown widespread support for streamlined and concise disclosures, which can help consumers better understand their investment choices and lead to more informed decision making.
Click here to view IRI’s 2015 legislative and federal regulatory agenda.
About the Insured Retirement Institute: The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) is the leading association for the retirement income industry. IRI proudly leads a national consumer coalition of more than 30 organizations, and is the only association that represents the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies. IRI members are the major insurers, asset managers, broker-dealers/distributors, and 150,000 financial professionals. As a not-for-profit organization, IRI provides an objective forum for communication and education, and advocates for the sustainable retirement solutions Americans need to help achieve a secure and dignified retirement. Learn more at www.irionline.org.