September 07,2000

Roth Statement at Retirement Security & Savings Act of 2000 Mark Up

WASHINGTON -- The Senate Finance Committee met today to mark up the Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2000, legislation that would expand retirement savings opportunities for millions of Americans. Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) delivered the following opening statement:

"The work we do today will go a long way toward helping Americans everywhere prepare for secure retirements. It builds upon a philosophy that is largely embraced by members on both sides of the aisle, and that is the philosophy of self-reliance -- giving individuals and families the ability to provide for themselves.

"The economy is strong. More Americans are working today than ever before. And Congress is able to seize on these conditions to help create an environment where Americans can plan for the long-term. Toward this end, there is nothing more important than sound retirement. And right now Americans are not saving enough for their retirements. They are prevented from doing so by several factors, including a tax code that discourages savings.

"What we propose here is to reverse some of those disincentives and expand retirement savings opportunities for millions. What we propose is largely a bipartisan effort, taking major provisions out of a pension bill sponsored by Senators Baucus, Graham, Grassley, Jeffords, Breaux, Hatch, Kerrey, Robb, Murkowski, Thompson, and Mack. The cash balance provisions in this bill have the bipartisan participation of Senators Jeffords, Grassley, Moynihan, Graham, and Baucus.

"I appreciate their support. What we're doing here will benefit millions of Americans, allowing them to save more in their IRAs, their 401(k)s, 403 (b)s, 457 and SIMPLE plans. It will help small employers and make it easier to transfer funds between plans to better meet employee needs. And it has special provisions for a non-refundable matching tax credit for low and moderate income savers.

"I now look forward to moving this important effort forward in the same spirit of bipartisan cooperation that has marked our work thus far."