Senate tax writers on Capitol Hill continue to discuss bipartisan retirement savings bills as the House gears up for a vote on a related tax measure.

The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) held a May 14 hearing during which lawmakers on both sides of the aisle highlighted the importance of moving forward with retirement savings-related legislative efforts. While a number of related tax proposals have been introduced recently, SFC lawmakers paid particular focus to the bipartisan Retirement Enhancement Savings Bill, more commonly referred to as “RESA.”

“[T]his committee worked on a bipartisan basis to put together the [RESA],” SFC ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said during opening statements. “Our bill is all about making it easier for employers — particularly small businesses — to offer retirement plans to their employees,” Wyden added. “Giving those small businesses an opportunity to band together and offer a common retirement plan is a simpler and more cost-effective way of helping more people save.”

House Vote Expected on Secure Bill

Notably, the Senate’s RESA bill has many similarities to the House’s Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Bill of 2019 (HR 1994). The bipartisan SECURE Bill is expected to reach the House floor for a full chamber vote in the coming days.

“We’re on track to go to the House floor this month,” Kara Getz, chief tax counsel for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, DMass., has said. Getz, while speaking on May 10 at the American Bar Association (ABA) May Tax Meeting in Washington, D.C., said that the House bill is derived from a true “partnership” between Democrats and Republicans.

To that end, SFC Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, alluded during the May 14 hearing that the Senate and House measures could soon be reconciled and enacted. “I’m hoping that the House will send its version of RESA over to us at some point this month,” Grassley said. “And, I’ll continue to work closely with Senator Wyden and other Committee members to reconcile the differences and get this important bill to the President.”

Additionally, Drew Crouch, senior tax counsel for the SFC minority, while speaking on May 10 at the ABA May Meeting, stated that there is a “high probability” the retirement bill(s) will be enacted this year. Crouch further emphasized this position by adding that that there is a “high chance retirement legislation will make it across the finish line,” in this Congress.

Retirement Savings 2.0

Meanwhile, House and Senate lawmakers are already working toward Retirement Savings “2.0,” Getz stated at the ABA May Meeting. House tax writers are “actively working on 2.0,” Getz said, adding that, “we would really like to markup a second retirement bill.”

Likewise, Grassley alluded to the Retirement Savings 2.0 initiative on May 14, noting in his
opening statement that the SFC hearing “marks the start of our work on the next round of retirement savings reforms.”

To that end, SFC members Rob Portman, R Ohio, and Ben Cardin, D-Md., on March 14 introduced
a 132-page bipartisan retirement savings tax bill. The Retirement Savings & Security Bill would
make several sweeping reforms to retirement savings.