Bonamici, Messer, Banks Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Workers Find Lost Retirement Savings, Track Accounts

Press Release

Date: July 26, 2018
Location: Washington, DC

Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congressman Luke Messer (R-IN), and Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) introduced the bipartisan Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act to help working families retire with dignity by providing the tools necessary to keep track of their retirement savings when they move from job to job.

There is no standard way for workers to manage or consolidate multiple retirement accounts when they change jobs, so many workers lose track of their hard-earned investments. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), about 25 million people changed jobs in the last ten years and left at least one or more retirement accounts behind.

"Working families across the country should be able to retire with financial security and dignity," said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, a leader on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. "We know that workers today switch jobs frequently and often lose track of the retirement savings they have worked so hard to earn. This bipartisan legislation will help respond to the needs of our changing workforce by making it easier for workers to find forgotten accounts and keep track of their retirement savings when they transition to new jobs."

"Every dollar counts for retirees. And, through this legislation, we hope to protect employee retirement accounts in a responsible way that ensures retirement savings are well-managed," said Congressman Luke Messer. "The Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act will ensure that retiree money is invested wisely and make it easier to locate stranded accounts when that's needed."

"Americans deserve to keep money they have previously saved for their own retirement," said Congressman Jim Banks. "This bill will help ensure that they can keep track of their hard earned retirement dollars even when they change jobs. I am proud to be working with Representatives Bonamici and Messer on this important legislation."

"The Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act could fill a critical hole in our retirement system. Millions of workers change jobs each year, so retirement savers need an easy way to track and find their accounts," said Joyce Rogers, SVP of Government Affairs at AARP. "We commend Reps. Bonamici, Messer and Banks for seeking to protect workers' retirement security."

"The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) supports the reintroduction of the "Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act,' as it provides much needed guidance to employers on the steps they must take to find missing plan participants and gives employees access to important information about their retirement portfolio that will greatly reduce the number of individuals who can't locate their retirement funds," said Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement and Compensation Policy at ERIC.

Since the enactment of the Pension Protection Act, more employers are automatically enrolling workers in retirement savings plans. Automatic enrollment reduces the barriers for workers to save for retirement, but the employees may be less aware of their account because they did not make an active decision to enroll. Many workers only have small accounts, and this bill will make it easier for them to preserve and keep track of these savings for a secure retirement.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced similar legislation earlier this year.

The legislation is supported by AARP and ERISA Industry Committee. The text of the bill, H.R. 6540, is available here and a summary is available here.