House GOP expected to push changes to 401(k)s this fall

Workplace retirement plans could be headed for a makeover in Congress.

As part of a push for additional tax law changes, GOP lawmakers in the House are expected this month to float legislation that includes modifications to 401(k) savings plans.

Broadly, those could include: reducing costs for small businesses to offer such accounts, making it less risky for employers to offer guaranteed income annuities and requiring plans to annually tell workers how long their nest egg is projected to last.

“There’s a lot of concern about folks who don’t have enough saved for retirement,” said Diane Thompson, a partner in the Los Angeles office of law firm Ballard Spahr.

“The idea is that helping both employers and employees hopefully would encourage more people to save,” said Thompson, whose expertise includes employee benefits.

Meanwhile, President Trump on Friday signed an executive order that also aims to help workers save and spend in retirement.

He’s calling on regulators to explore reducing required minimum distributions from 401(k)s and IRAs, and making it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans to their employees. At this point, it’s unclear how regulatory and congressional efforts that overlap will be reconciled.

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