This week on the podcast, we update some important developments out of Washington related to retirement that occurred just before the holidays.
Congress wrapped up the year passing a massive $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill. Usually with legislation like this, a lot of unrelated legislation gets tacked on and moved through, and this was no exception.
One important piece of legislation was included in the bill – and another was not.
The bill that did pass is called the SECURE Act. It’s a grab-bag of retirement policy ideas that have been bouncing around Washington for a number of years. But it is important because it’s the only piece of significant retirement legislation to be passed in Washington since 2006, when the Pension Protection Act was signed into law. Laws like this really do make a difference over time. The PPA ushered in some major positive changes like the widespread adoption of target date funds and automatic enrollment of new workers in retirement plans.
My guest on the podcast this week will talk with us about what’s good about this bill from a financial services industry perspective. Melissa Kahn is managing director of retirement policy for the defined contribution team at State Street Global Advisors. She is an attorney with extensive experience in the world of employee benefits and regulation. Before joining State Street, she worked as a consultant in the industry and also for more than a decade working in the life insurance business. So she is going to give us a good idea of the arguments the industry has mounted in favor of this bill.
The podcast is part of the subscription RetirementRevised newsletter. Subscribers have access to all the podcasts, plus my series of retirement guides on key challenges in retirement. Each guide is paired with a podcast interview with an expert on the topic; the series already covers Social Security claiming and the transition to Medicare, and how to hire a financial planner. The most recent looks at the critical decision between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.
Readers also get my weekly summary and analysis of key developments in retirement. This week, it includes analysis of the latest polling of voters on Medicare for All, why we’re headed for a severe shortage of geriatricians to care for the elderly and an ill-advised plan to let ordinary retirement savers invest in risky private equity deals.