Happy Friday, readers! We learned this week that the retirement plan advisory industry will have to wait even longer to see a Department of Labor Secretary first questioned and then either confirmed or denied by the U.S. Senate. You’ll likely have heard by now that President Trump’s first pick couldn’t get enough support to actually win the job—even from a Senate controlled by Republican allies—leading to a last-minute withdrawal for the nominee just before his confirmation hearings were set to start. Find below our initial coverage of the new nominee, Alex Acosta, along with the week’s other top news.
Days after the surprise withdrawal of Andrew Puzder as President Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee, the White House is now confirming their new pick for the job, former member of the National Labor Relations Board R. Alexander Acosta.
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Their concerns are that small businesses will be discouraged from offering retirement plans to employees, and that employees put into state-run plans will not have the protections of ERISA and will have limited control over their retirement savings.
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MassMutual says a married couple that lives into their 90s but decides to begin their Social Security benefits at age 62 as opposed to age 70 could be leaving as much as half a million dollars on the table, or forfeiting $2,000 to $4,000 a month for life.
With the passage of the SECURE Act by the House of Representatives, experts tell PLANADVISER they are optimistic that agreement will be reached with the Senate during this Congress, but the many supporters of retirement reform will have to wait and see how compromise might be reached.
One retirement industry executive says she believes the Senate could act quite quickly in taking up the SECURE Act, which just passed the House of Representatives with a practically unanimous yea vote.