Bipartisan SECURE Act Boosts Retirement Savings

retirement© kate_sept2004 / Getty Images Signature / Canva

Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Tuesday announced the bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) 2.0 Act to bolster retirement savings, and Conservation Easement Program Integrity Act to shut down fraudulent tax shelters are included in the omnibus spending package.

Importantly, SECURE 2.0 includes Wyden’s reforms to restructure the existing, nonrefundable saver’s credit into a government matching contribution of up to $1,000 a year for low- and middle- income workers who save through 401(k) type plans or IRAs.

“The Finance Committee has worked in a bipartisan way to improve the retirement system, building on our success in 2019, and I’m pleased our legislation has been included in the year-end spending package. SECURE 2.0 includes policies put forward by Finance Committee members on both sides of the aisle, and I appreciate the collaboration of Senator Crapo every step of the way,” said Wyden.

Wyden continued, “Americans deserve dignified retirements after decades of hard work, and our bill is an important step forward. We are making significant progress for millions of low- and middle-income workers, who are far less likely to have retirement savings. These workers often have demanding, physical jobs, and depend solely on their Social Security income. For the first time, millions more workers would access resources for retirement and see federal retirement contributions year after year, even if they have no tax liability. These are reforms that will make a meaningful difference for workers who have struggled to save.”

SECURE 2.0 is partially offset by legislation to shut down fraudulent tax shelters created through syndicated conservation easements. The Finance Committee conducted a bipartisan investigation from 2019-2020 that was the catalyst for this legislation.

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“The abuse of syndicated conservation easements is one of the biggest tax shelters out there, and these scams threaten the integrity of legitimate conservation programs that protect critical habitat and open spaces we all enjoy,” Wyden said. “My bipartisan report with Senator Grassley in 2020 detailed serious and persistent abuse of the conservation easement program, and the problem has only gotten worse since we released our report. The IRS has been forced to dedicate more and more resources to fighting these abuses in court, but the IRS fighting an increasingly uphill battle in court is no way to address this problem. Our legislation to shut down these transactions is long overdue.”

A summary of SECURE 2.0 is available here.

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