ASR Applauds Senate Re-Introduction of Retirement Security for Life Act
The Americans for Secure Retirement (ASR) coalition today welcomed the re-introduction in the U.S. Senate of critically important retirement legislation. The Retirement Security for Life Act, S. 1297, introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), provides incentives that will increase the accessibility of retirement vehicles that enable a guaranteed paycheck for life, helping Americans have a more financially secure retirement.
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The Retirement Security for Life Act would provide a 50 percent tax exclusion on the annual income from a non-qualified lifetime annuity, up to $20,000. A lifetime annuity is the only financial vehicle that delivers a steady stream of income for life- a paycheck for life. Under the legislation, a typical American in the 25 percent tax bracket would save up to $5,000 in taxes annually.
Similar provisions are contained in legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 2748, the Retirement Security Needs Lifetime Pay Act, sponsored by Reps Early Pomeroy (D-ND) and Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL).
"With the recent economic downturn, Social Security replacing less and less of pre-retirement income, pensions on the decline and lifespan on the rise, people need access to many different retirement options. By providing a strong tax incentive for Americans to use lifetime annuities as part of their retirement portfolio, policymakers are helping people secure their retirement," Waldie said.
A recently released study commissioned by ASR, and conducted by Ernst and Young, reveals the importance of American retirees having a steady stream of retirement income. The study showed that without making serious reductions to their standard of living, by as much as 51 percent in some cases, a majority of middle-income Americans could expect to outlive their financial resources. Further, the study determined that households with a guaranteed source of retirement income outside of Social Security, such as a lifetime annuity, showed the greatest chance of financial success. Retirement security is especially critical for the 70 million American workers who lack access to any employer-based retirement benefits and will have to take saving and planning entirely into their own hands.
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"Senators Conrad and Roberts should be commended for their dedication to this critical issue. For the increasing number of Americans, including those who comprise the agricultural community, who have no access to employer sponsored retirement and will rely on Social Security alone, it is critical that we have leaders willing to examine all alternatives to help Americans obtain a secure retirement," said Marcie Williams, President of American Agri-women.
"This legislation is a critical component of retirement policy and we are pleased that Congress is making helping Americans secure a financially sound retirement a priority," said Bill Waldie, Chairman of ASR. "This is an important step toward addressing the anxiety many Americans feel toward their financial outlook during retirement."
Last year, the Retirement Security for Life Act received broad support in both chambers of Congress, with 79 cosponsors in House and 12 in the Senate.
ASR is a coalition representing women, minorities, farmers, small businesses, and the life insurance industry united in a mission to achieve a more secure retirement for all Americans.
You can learn more about ASR at our website, www.paycheckforlife.org.
Source: prnewswire.com 06-22-2009