House committee passes open MEP bill

Insurance groups say the measure, which now heads to the full chamber for a vote, doesn't go far enough

Sep 14, 2018 @ 1:17 pm

By Greg Iacurci

The House Ways and Means Committee passed a retirement savings bill Thursday that seeks to expand access to workplace retirement plans.

The Family Savings Act of 2018, introduced by Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa., was approved in a 21-14 vote. Perhaps most important for retirement plan advisers is the provision about open multiple-employer plans, known as "open MEPs."

The measure would allow more small businesses to band together to offer a common retirement plan, with the aim of reducing costs, administrative work and fiduciary responsibility. Congress and the retirement industry have seized on open MEPs as a way to expand access to workplace plans.

Insurance groups, including the Insured Retirement Institute and American Council of Life Insurers, said the legislation falls short because it omits two provisions — a change to annuity safe-harbor rules and a requirement for lifetime-income illustrations.

The legislation is part of a three-bill package making up Republicans' Tax Reform 2.0 initiative, meant partly to make permanent some of the temporary changes to individual tax rates codified in the new tax law.

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