Family Finances

Congressional Passage of SECURE Act Signals Retirement Security is a Top National Priority

December 20, 2019  • Ida Rademacher & Financial Security Program

On Thursday, December 19, 2019, Congress passed legislation that signals a strong, bipartisan commitment to improve American retirement security, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The legislation, attached to the 2020 bipartisan budget deal, would allow smaller employers to pool funds to make it cheaper to provide 401(k)s to their employees, provides a tax credit to smaller employers for automatically enrolling employees in retirement plans, and made more part-time workers eligible for 401(k) plans, among other provisions. The passage of the SECURE Act enjoyed wide, bipartisan support, passing in the House earlier in 2019 by a 417-3 vote.

The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program’s Executive Director Ida Rademacher released the following statement in response to Thursday’s news:

“I applaud the bipartisan leadership in Congress that proved that ambitious proposals to support the financial security of American families are still possible. This bill represents the most significant change in retirement laws in decades and signals that retirement security is a top issue for the American public. With nearly half of all working Americans still without a workplace retirement account, this is an important step towards making a secure retirement a reality for everyone.

In particular, I applaud the work of Representatives Richard Neal (D-MA) and Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) for their leadership making retirement security a congressional priority. We look forward to seeing how Congressional leaders build on this success toward even bolder action to ensure a robust and inclusive savings system for the nation.”


To explore more ideas for expanding retirement security that are most ready for advancement, we encourage you to read The Time is Now: Next Steps Toward a More Secure Retirement for All Americans, the report summarizing the latest work of the Aspen Institute’s Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings.

For more information on the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program visit


About The Aspen Institute
The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Since its founding in 1949, the Institute has been driving change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities in the United States and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

About The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program’s (Aspen FSP) mission is to illuminate and solve the most critical financial challenges facing American households and to make financial security for all a top national priority. We aim for nothing less than a more inclusive economy with reduced wealth inequality and shared prosperity. We believe that transformational change requires innovation, trust, leadership, and entrepreneurial thinking. FSP galvanizes a diverse set of leaders across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to solve the most critical financial challenges. We do this through deep, deliberate private and public dialogues and by elevating evidence-based research and solutions that will strengthen the financial health and security of financially vulnerable Americans.


Family Finances
The Time is Now: Next Steps Toward a More Secure Retirement for All Americans
October 23, 2019 • Financial Security Program