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When Policymakers Did Something Great

In 2006, Congress passed the Pension Protection Act. Can leaders do it again?

At times, it seems like nothing much good comes from the policymakers in Washington, D.C. Efforts to rein in long-term entitlement spending have mostly foundered. In recent years, plans to expand access to workplace retirement plans have gone nowhere. In the current environment in Washington, D.C., even a task as simple as raising the debt ceiling--to pay for appropriations that Congress has already approved--has proved difficult, with the country coming to the brink of default on numerous occasions.

But it is worth remembering that the federal government sometimes gets things right. We have reached the 10-year anniversary of one of the largest achievements in recent policymaking, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (hereafter referred to as the PPA). Thanks to its provisions relating to 401(k) accounts, the PPA will ultimately help tens of millions of Americans achieve better-funded retirements.