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14 December 20221 minute read

Retirement reform legislation could be on the horizon with SECURE 2.0

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 was enacted to promote employer-sponsored retirement plans, encourage retirement savings, and update certain aspects of retirement plan administration. 

A group of bills currently pending before Congress (dubbed SECURE 2.0) aims to further promote, encourage, and update retirement savings through employer-sponsored retirement plans.  This legislation could pass in the remaining days of the current lame duck Congress if the bills can be reconciled and legislation finalized in time to catch a ride aboard another piece of fast-moving legislation. 

Three bills up for consideration 

One House bill and two Senate Committee bills:

  • Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (H.R.2954)
    • Passed the full House on March 29, 2022, by a vote of 414-5
  • Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the Nest Egg Act (S.4353, the RISE & SHINE Act)
    • Approved unanimously on June 14, 2022, by the US Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee
  • Enhancing American Retirement Now Act (S.4808, the EARN Act)
    • Approved unanimously on June 22, 2022, in conceptual form by the US Senate Finance Committee, legislation introduced September 8, 2022

What we know so far:  SECURE 2.0 has broad bipartisan and bicameral support but needs a catalyst to get it over the finish line.  Congressional staff are working to reconcile the various provisions of these bills and reach agreement on final legislation, which many are working to ensure becomes effective no sooner than January 1, 2024.

It is unlikely that the combined SECURE 2.0 legislation (composed of the combined House and the Senate bills) could pass on its own before the end the year, which means lawmakers would need to start all over again on new legislation in the new Congress. Many, including some members of Congress who are retiring, do not view SECURE 2.0 as likely to pass in the new Congress and therefore want to see enactment this year. However, SECURE 2.0 could be added to another piece of legislation to move through the lame duck Congress.  Two possibilities are the 2023 fiscal year budget and the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act. On December 13, 2022, the Chair of the House Appropriations Committee announced that a framework agreement had been reached on an omnibus spending bill, which makes passage of SECURE 2.0 more likely.  However, the details remain to be worked out.

Action items for employers:  The deadline for amending most employer-sponsored plans to comply with the original SECURE Act has been extended to December 31, 2025.  If SECURE 2.0 passes in the next few weeks, Employers will have a much longer list to update plan documents, summary plan descriptions, service provider agreements, forms, notices, policies, procedures and employee communication materials.

Looking ahead:  If SECURE 2.0 is enacted, we will continue to keep you informed of important provisions and their impact on employer-sponsored retirement plans.

For more information, please contact any of the members of our Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group.

Sherry Klenk is a consultant with DLA Piper’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group, based in Chicago. Reach her at