The U.S. Chamber of Commerce disputes the notion that today’sretirees are receiving less income from employment-based plans thanin years past. In an April white paper, it stated that in 1975, 19percent of retiree income came from defined benefit and definedcontribution plans. That number increased to 26 percent by 2009. Italso found that the number of retirees receiving retirement incomefrom employment-based plans grew from 20 percent of retirees in1975 to 31 percent in 2009.

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Today, 82 million people hold either DB, DC or IRA retirementaccounts with a combined $17.9 trillion earmarked forretirement.

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The Chamber recommends that to increase the number of plansavailable to workers and increase the amount of money being savedfor retirement a few steps need to be taken.

  • Encourage employers to create and maintain retirement plans. Todo this, the Chamber recommends enhancing the small business taxcredit for 401(k) startup costs by expanding it and making itrefundable; eliminate top-heavy rules and simplify discriminationtesting by creating an optional nondiscrimination test for averagedeferral percentage testing; facilitate the expansion of multipleemployer plan designs; give small business a dedicated voice on therelevant advisory committees of the Department of Labor, Departmentof the Treasury and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. It alsorecommends streamlining notice requirement and allowing for greateruse of electronic disclosures; reforming multiemployer DB fundingrules to prevent bankruptcy among small employers and allow plansto remain financially solvent on an ongoing basis; reformsingle-employer DB funding rules for greater predictability;clarify the hybrid plan rules and regulations; create greatertransparency in accounting standards for employer-provided benefitplans; and avoid competition between government entities andprivate plan sponsors.
  • Encourage greater individual savings by implementing automaticplan features and encouraging financial education for retirement.Help preserve retirement assets by permitting electivecontributions following a hardship distribution and extending therollover period for plan loans.
  • Implement strategies to make retirement assets last. Encourageadditional distribution options; address required minimumdistribution rules; encourage employers to offer voluntaryproducts, like retiree health savings and insurance products suchas long-term care insurance; and eliminate barriers to phasedretirement.

The Chamber encourages policymakers to maintain the success ofthe current system and ensure that employer-provided plans continueto play an important role in retirement security.

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