President Donald Trump has directed the Treasury and Labor departments to review rules governing retirement funds and small-business 401(k) plans, the Wall Street Journal writes.
The executive order signed Friday in Charlotte, N.C., requires the Treasury Department to assess letting investors keep more of their savings for a longer time invested in tax-sheltered vehicles such as 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts, according to the paper.
In addition, the order directs both the Treasury and the Labor departments to assess new regulations easing the creation of multi-employer 401(k)-type plans, aimed at smaller businesses, the Journal writes. Such plans are currently available already, but only to firms that share some type of affiliation — such as through an industry group, according to the paper. The initiative is aimed at making such plans easier and cheaper to implement for employers and easier to understand and use for employees, said Dan Kowalski, counselor to the secretary of the Treasury, according to the Journal.
“This is a very positive step for enhancing retirement security,” said Dan Zielinski, vice president of strategic communications at the Insured Retirement Institute, according to the paper. “Hopefully this will serve as a spark for Congress to move the legislation that has bipartisan support that would expand employer access to retirement plans and also expand access to products that would provide guaranteed lifetime income —annuities.”
Trump’s order in part draws on retirement-focused initiatives in the House and Senate, the Journal writes. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act, which has the support of financial services firms as well as the AARP, has been hampered by partisan disagreements over taxes as well as a tight calendar for congressional elections, according to the paper.