On Fox Business, Portman Discusses His Bipartisan Legislation to Help Americans Save More for Retirement

May 14, 2019 | Portman Difference

In an interview with Fox Business’ Varney & Co. this morning, Senator Portman highlighted bipartisan legislation he introduced yesterday – the Retirement Security & Savings Act – which will help strengthen Americans’ retirement security by addressing four major opportunities in the existing retirement system: (1) allowing people who have saved too little to set more aside for their retirement; (2) helping small businesses offer 401(k)s and other retirement plans; (3) expanding access to retirement savings plans for low-income Americans without coverage; and (4) providing more certainty and flexibility during Americans’ retirement years.  The measure includes more than 50 provisions to accomplish these objectives.  Portman also discussed the need to rein in government spending.


Excerpts of his interview can be found below and a video can be found here:




“I think this is a rare example where we can get something passed. It relates to the first topic because Social Security is in trouble, everybody knows that it needs to be reformed and improved. But in the meantime, shouldn’t we encourage everybody to save more for their own retirement? Unfortunately, Americans are woefully behind in that. In fact, about half of the Baby Boomers, my generation, is not prepared for retirement because they have no retirement nest egg at all. This allows people to save more on their 401(k) and IRA. It helps small businesses to offer plans which is where most of the problem is. Larger businesses tend to have pretty good plans. Smaller businesses less so. It helps with regard to lifetime savings, so the people are encouraged to save their money over a lifetime. It deals with this minimum required distribution that you’re probably aware of, Stuart, where when you turn age 70 and a half, suddenly you have to get out of your IRA and 401(k) even if you’re still working. So, this is, I think, good bipartisan legislation that can get passed.


“What we do is we extend the age from age 70 and a half to 75, number one. Number two, we say that if you have less than $100,000 in your retirement savings, there is no minimum required distribution at all. It is crazy we’re telling people again who are still working, like you, that they have got to start taking money out of retirement and pay taxes on it. It should be there for your retirement. People are living longer, healthier lives so we want it to be there for you.”




“Well I say that that spending is the problem. One of the things that we’ve been hearing as you know, Stuart, over the past year, is that the tax cuts and tax reform package have led to these larger deficits. We now know from numbers from the Treasury Department that’s not true. In fact, revenues have increased. So again think about this, after the tax cuts, the tax reform, revenues have increased. Not substantially. Two or three percent, but that is billions and billions of dollars. So it is not the tax cuts that have caused higher deficits. It is the spending.


“Spending is clearly it. Part of the spending is something that Republicans and the administration supported. The Trump administration was right in that the military had been cut to the bone in many instances. We had more training exercise fatalities the year before last than we had combat fatalities because of the lack of preparedness and the lack of funding, as an example.  So we needed to increase our spending for our military. But, the big spending, of course, is on the other side of the ledger, which is the automatic spending, the so-called entitlement spending. Interest on the debt, important programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. That is where the big spending increase is and that’s where 70 percent of the spending is now.”