Warner, Himes introduce Portable Retirement and Investment Account Act

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A pair of lawmakers have introduced a measure they said seeks to create accessible, universal, portable retirement and investment accounts while also modernizing the nation’s retirement system.

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Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT) said their bill, the Portable Retirement and Investment Account (PRIA) Act of 2021, would bring more people into the retirement system and make it easier for Americans to save.

“Americans are more likely to change jobs and be engaged in non-traditional forms of work than they were a generation ago, but our policies haven’t kept up with these shifts,” Warner said. “As more and more Americans hold multiple jobs across a career, a year, and even a day, PRIA will provide more workers with access to flexible, portable benefits such as retirement savings that will carry with them from employer to employer and gig to gig.”

Via the legislation, each American will receive a PRIA when they receive a Social Security Number and the PRIAs will be administered by an independent board — managed by selected financial institutions.

Upon creation of the initial account, account holders are presented the option of choosing investment opportunities from a qualified financial institution, per the measure.

“The current retirement system isn’t working for all Americans,” Himes said. “The options to which American workers have access can differ significantly based on their area of employment and the systems can be needlessly confusing. In addition, many Americans lose access to retirement savings vehicles if they lose their jobs, and gig, contract, and part-time workers are often ineligible. PRIA changes all of this.”

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