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Commentary

Congress Weighs Bill to Level Field Among Retirement Plans

Making it easier for unrelated businesses to band together in multiple employer plans could help create higher quality options for investors.

Congress is dusting off an old bill with some good ideas for improving retirement security. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act is a reboot of the 2016 version of the same name. That bill that was notable for passing out of committee 26 to 0--a rarity for Congress in today's polarized political environment. Although it is not guaranteed, the bill has a pretty good chance of becoming law before the end of this session, particularly since the top Republican and top Democrat on the powerful Senate Finance Committee introduced it together.

The bill is a laundry list of bipartisan ideas to improve retirement security--from reducing liability for annuity offerings to lifting age limits on contributions to IRAs. The most important provision would allow more employers to band together to offer 401(k)s by making some long overdue tweaks to the law that could have a big impact.