During a hearing on pensions today, Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, encouraged small business participation in the pension system to help improve and expand retirement savings in the country.
"There is little doubt about the power of retirement dollars in our economy," said Senator Enzi. "As a former small business owner, I believe it is important to encourage the business community to participate in voluntary retirement systems. Looking at all aspects of the retirement system from the auto enrollment features contained in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 to why has the traditional defined benefit system has been in a state of decline, it is important to seek alternatives to encourage more small businesses to provide retirement accounts for their employees."
Senator Enzi noted that recently reported statistics show that there is more than $18 trillion of U.S. retirement assets invested in the economy. Currently, the greatest share of that comes from 401(k) and Individual Retirement Accounts and the share from the traditional pension system is growing smaller each year.
"However, we still have room for improvement to encourage greater participation by the private sector in our retirement system and seek alternatives for the traditional defined benefit system," Senator Enzi said. "If people do not save enough through their 401(k)s and IRAs for retirement, then these people will place a greater strain on our very shaky federal entitlement programs."