Senator Portman wins award for solidifying America’s ability to save for retirement


WASHINGTON – Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman was recognized for his efforts to help American workers and retirees.

“During my time in Congress, I have made strengthening America’s retirement system a top priority,” said Portman, one of two recipients of the 2021 Federal Champion of Retirement Security Award selected by The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI).

Portman serves on the Senate Committee on Finance and its Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy. He has authored and supported numerous bills to enhance retirement security during his many years of service in the House and Senate.

He was instrumental in negotiating the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA) through the Senate Finance Committee, which eventually became the SECURE Act in 2019. While Portman has announced that he will retire from the Senate in January 2023, he remains committed to advancing additional, comprehensive retirement legislation in this session of Congress.

For many years, Portman worked alongside Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, championing bipartisan retirement security legislation. Cardin was the other IRI award recipient. This year’s award resulted, in part, because the two joined forces once again on the Retirement Security and Savings Act of 2021, or SECURE 2.0.

Portman stated he introduced this bipartisan legislation with Cardin because it introduces the reforms necessary to help individuals and small business owners “save more for retirement,” especially those who have “have saved too little” and need to “set more aside for their retirement.”

Specifically, Portman said, the legislation aids small businesses by “helping them offer 401(k)s and other retirement plans, expanding access to retirement savings plans for low-income Americans without coverage, and providing more certainty and flexibility during Americans’ retirement years.”

“We are working to advance this legislation early next year, and I urge my colleagues to join this effort so we can strengthen the retirement security of all Americans,” Portman said.

Wayne Chopus, IRI president and CEO congratulated the two winners saying, “Both senators are receiving this award for the second time, a testament to their long-standing commitment, advocacy, and leadership to advance policies that address the retirement anxiety felt by millions of America’s workers and retirees.”

In response, Portman said he appreciated the recognition of their work in the “retirement security space.”

Cardin is chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and is a Senate Committee on Finance member. Among his ongoing efforts to address retirement security, Cardin is particularly focused on providing more opportunities for small business employees to save for retirement by encouraging small business employers to offer workplace retirement options. He has been working on retirement issues since he served in the House of Representatives to enact the 2006 Pension Protection Act. Cardin played a critical role in passing the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act in 2019 and continues today to work in a bipartisan fashion to advance additional retirement security legislation.

“It is an honor to receive the 2021 Champion of Retirement Security Award,” Cardin said. “I have spent my career working with Senator Portman to improve the retirement security system in this country. We can and must do more to ensure all Americans have access to the tools they need to live a dignified life in retirement. I want to thank the IRI leadership and team for presenting this award and for helping to advocate for my legislation with Sen. Portman, the Retirement Security and Savings Act.”

The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), the leading association for the retirement income industry and represents the entire supply chain of insured retirement strategies, established the IRI Champion of Retirement Security Award in 2013 to recognize policymakers who work to enhance retirement security in the United States.

IRI members are the major insurers, asset managers, broker-dealers/distributors, and 150,000 financial professionals. IRI provides an objective forum for communication and education, and advocates for the sustainable retirement solutions Americans need to help achieve a secure and dignified retirement.

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IRI dubbs him a “federal champion”

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