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Scott, Aging Committee Members Hold Hearing on Building Wealth and Fostering Independence

WASHINGTON—Ranking Member Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Chairman Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and members of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging heard from a panel of witnesses about the state of retirement savings for all Americans and the challenges and opportunities they face when it comes to saving for retirement.

During the hearing, Ranking Member Scott emphasized his commitment to building onto the SECURE Act, so we can continue to remove obstacles to building wealth for all Americans.

RM Tim Scott 7-16-21a

Click Video to Hear Ranking Member Scott’s Opening Statement

RM Tim Scott on the obstacles for saving for retirement  …

“For far too many Americans living paycheck to paycheck, including vulnerable populations facing poverty and some with disabilities, retirement seems out of reach no matter how old you are… For others, there are obstacles, such as keeping your retirement plan when switching jobs; or getting access to a retirement plan when working for a small business…. In South Carolina, approximately 400,000 full-time employees and 200,000 plus part-time employees did not have access to an employer-provided retirement plan.”

RM Tim Scott on the SECURE Act and the benefits for small businesses and their employees …

“Despite wanting to, smaller employers find it difficult and often impossible to provide retirement plans because of administrative burdens, startup costs, fees, and liabilities. There is good news though. The SECURE Act, signed into law December 2019, makes it easier for small business owners to set up retirement plans that are less expensive and frankly much easier to administer.” 

RM Tim Scott on the rising numbers of Americans living comfortably during retirement …

“Despite the struggles that so many Americans face, there is good news: the number of people over 65 in the United States with low incomes or living in poverty has declined by over 2/3 in the past 5 decades. In 2019, nearly 4 out of 5 Americans aged 65 and older reported having ‘enough money to live comfortably.’  This all means the financial wellbeing of seniors has improved substantially in recent decades and gets better every single year.”

RM Tim Scott 7-16-21b

 Click Video to Hear South Carolina Witness John Iacofano Testimony 

John Iacofano on Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) … 

“Just a few months ago, Matt Watson at NFP approached me with a possible solution to our retirement plan struggles; the SECURE Act had passed through Congress and established Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs), allowing unrelated employers to join together to provide workplace retirement savings options without some of the costs, administrative burdens, and liability attached to sponsoring a plan on their own. One month later we are on a conference call setting up our plan and two months later we are launching our first employee retirement plan at Iacofano’s. Our plan provider offers educational classes to our team; and handles all employee enrollment, legal requirements, and administrative work. These cost and administrative savings are the sole reason we are now able to offer our employees retirement benefits. Plus, these low costs allow us to offer a competitive match. These are new dollars going into the paychecks of our valuable team members.”

John Iacofano on hiring a diverse staff and offering opportunities to those with disabilities …

“Our next goal is to continue to grow the diversity of employees within our company. We are fortunate to work with Babcock Centers in Columbia, SC, an Adult with Disabilities Empowerment Organization. Babcock approached us over two years ago asking if we were willing to bring on 1 or 2 of their clients to work in our facility. With the help of a Babcock representative, we hired a gentleman named Jay. Jay continues to work for us and is a vital part of our team. Small businesses need more information and availability to hire, train, and provide new opportunities for adults with disabilities. This along with the new PEP plan will only help small businesses like mine become competitive employers and take care of the entire circle of life of their employees”