The Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act Includes Five of Bennet’s Bills
Watch Bennet’s Remarks During the Finance Committee’s Hearing Today HERE
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, welcomed the Finance Committee’s passage of the Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act, which includes several of his bipartisan bills to help Coloradans save for a secure retirement.
“For the past fifty years, our country has had an economy that has worked really well for the wealthiest Americans, but not for anyone else,” said Bennet. “Many families are struggling to make ends meet, especially amid rising prices, let alone plan for the future. The EARN Act is an important step forward to help families save and ensure they can retire with dignity. We must continue this work to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the very top.”
Among the lowest-income 20% of Americans, just one in ten have a retirement account. The EARN Act will help more low- and middle-income families save and prepare for the future. Bennet-led provisions that passed as a part of the EARN Act today include:
- The bipartisan Enhancing Emergency and Retirement Savings Act, legislation Bennet introduced with U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) to provide a penalty-free “emergency withdrawal” option of up to $1,000 from employer-sponsored retirement accounts and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). The bill will help families cope with an unexpected expense such as a car breakdown or medical bill, and make low-income workers more confident participating in retirement plans.
- The bipartisan State and Local Corrections Officer Retirement Fairness Act, legislation Bennet introduced with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to extend an exclusion from early retirement withdrawal penalties starting at age 50 to state and local corrections officers, who were inadvertently left out of provisions for similar law-enforcement officers passed in 2015.
- The bipartisan Protecting Public Safety Employees' Timely Retirement Act, legislation Bennet introduced with Toomey to allow public safety officers, such as firefighters and police officers, to access their retirement savings penalty-free upon reaching their eligible retirement age. Current law allows eligible public safety officers to retire at age 50 or after completing 25 years of service — whichever is earlier. However, officers who retire prior to reaching age 50 with 25 years of service face a penalty for accessing their retirement funds until the age of 59 ½. This bipartisan bill would end this penalty for officers who are legally eligible to retire.
- The Military Spouses Retirement Security Act, legislation Bennet introduced with U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) to help spouses of active-duty service members save for retirement by expanding access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. It would make small employers eligible for a tax credit of up to $500 per year per military spouse if they make the spouse eligible for retirement plan participation within two months of hire.
- The Compassionate Retirement Act, legislation Bennet introduced with U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) to provide financial stability and needed resources to Americans battling terminal illnesses, by allowing them to access the retirement savings they have accrued without incurring the typical 10 percent penalty if withdrawing before the age of 59 ½.