New Retirement Benefits Bill Offers Perks for Seniors and Loan Borrowers

The latest bipartisan retirement bill proposed by the House on Tuesday has a lot of perks. The biggest is changing the age at which people must start withdrawing money from their 401(k) from 72 to 75. Called the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2020, the bill aims to ensure Americans can successfully save for retirement while still improving their long-term financial standing.

Other changes included in the bill: 

  • Allow workers paying off student loan debt to get a company 401(k) match. 
  • Require 401(k), 403(b) and SIMPLE plans to enroll workers automatically.
  • Allowing people with less than $100,000 in their IRA and 401(k) savings to pass on taking distributions. 
  • Create greater incentives for small businesses to include retirement plans. 
  • Designing a national online 401(k) system to help people locate past accounts they lost track of.

Seniors will be able to hold onto savings longer

Ultimately the bill aims to give seniors more flexibility with their savings and protect their retirement accounts. The previous Secure Act passed in December of 2019 already raised the RMD age from 70.5 to 72; the additional bump to 75 could benefit more retirees. 

[ Read: The Best IRA Accounts ]

The required withdrawals are intended to ensure that retirees use the money they save during their lifetime and not allow these funds to turn into money that’s transferred to beneficiaries after death. Those who do not take the required money out do face serious tax penalties. Being able to keep money in the accounts for longer will allow seniors to build up their savings and have more control over their assets. 

New territory for student loan borrowers

Many people who are struggling with student loan debt aren’t able to adequately save for their retirement and miss out on the benefits that come with employer matching contributions. The proposed bill would change things. 

[ Read: Roth IRA vs 401(k): Which is Best For You? ]   

Businesses would match contributions for a 401(k), 403(b) plan or a SIMPLE IRA for employees with student loans, regardless of whether the employee is in the company retirement plan. Payments for loans would essentially serve as a deferral for the contributions they would have to make for matching contributions. Student loan borrowers would no longer have to choose between making their loan payment or contributing to their retirement. 

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Taylor Leamey

Personal Finance Reporter

Taylor Leamey is a personal finance reporter at The Simple Dollar who covers banking, savings, mortgages, loans and credit cards. Her writing has also been featured at Reviews.com, Interest.com and ISP.com.

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  • Andrea Perez
    Andrea Perez
    Personal Finance Editor

    Andrea Perez is an editor at The Simple Dollar specializing in personal finance. Prior to that she specialized in digital marketing content for online learning websites. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and media studies from the University of South Florida.