February 26, 2014

For additional information:
Jason Hammersla
office 202-289-6700
cell 202-422-4652 (cell)

To improve retirement outcomes for low-income workers,

Retirement tax policy must support employer plan sponsorship

WASHINGTON, DC — "Employer-sponsored retirement plans are an essential component of financial security," American Benefits Council President James Klein said today in connection with a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on retirement savings for low-income workers. "Research has shown that the current system of tax incentives for defined contribution plans benefits workers all along the income spectrum, including low-income workers."

Klein continued, "As the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy considers strategies to improve retirement outcomes for low-income workers, we urge members of the panel to build upon the success of the employer-sponsored system."

The Council, along with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and Investment Company Institute (ICI), recently developed the research paper Our Strong Retirement System: An American Success Story, demonstrating that voluntary, employer-sponsored retirement plans provide a critical source of savings for millions of American workers at all ages and income levels.

"Initiatives like the Obama Administration's myRA proposal and Senator Tom Harkin's USA Retirement proposal have the potential to fill the coverage gaps for low-income workers without imposing excessive burdens or liability on employers," The Council has also recommended other measures to improve employer-sponsored coverage, including expansion of automatic enrollment and escalation and initiatives to help small businesses offer plans.

"Without a doubt, current and future retirees face unprecedented economic and demographic challenges. Lawmakers can help meet these challenges by avoiding obstacles and costs that impede employers' ability to sponsor retirement plans and allowing employers and employees to save enough to ensure a secure retirement," Klein said.

For more information on retirement savings, or to arrange an interview with Council policy staff, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 422-4652 (cell).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.