Bill Reintroduced to Create Federal Retirement Commission

The Federal Retirement Commission would conduct a comprehensive review of private benefit programs in the U.S., with an eye toward strengthening them.

Senators Todd Young, R-Indiana, and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, have reintroduced the Federal Retirement Commission Act, which calls for the creation of a Federal Retirement Commission.

Specifically, the Commission would conduct a comprehensive review of private benefit programs in the U.S.; investigate individual and household account balances and investment trends; examine such societal trends as wage and economic growth, health care costs and life expectancy; look into other countries’ retirement programs; and make recommendations to Congress on how to improve private retirement programs.

The Commission would consist of the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor and Commerce; two presidential appointees; and six Senate and House of Representative appointees for each chamber.

The lawmakers first introduced the bill last May. A press release about the first bill mentioned a Government Accountability Office report in which the GAO said Congress “should consider establishing an independent commission to comprehensively examine the U.S. retirement system and make recommendations to clarify key policy goals for the system and improve how the nation promotes retirement security.”

“With many individuals reaching retirement with little to no savings of their own, we must take a serious look at our current retirement programs and make the changes necessary to help secure the futures of so many hardworking Americans,” Young said. “Our bill would enact a commission to better understand how we can strengthen private benefit programs and ensure our current and future generations have the tools necessary to plan for retirement.”

Booker added: “The most important thing we can do to ensure Americans’ retirement security is to protect and strengthen Social Security. Beyond that, we must work to address the shortcomings that have resulted from the shift from defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans like 401(k)s. This bill would advance the conversation.”

Booker and Young noted that U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that just under half of all private-sector workers are not participating in a workplace retirement plan.

The full text of the bill is here.