JOBS/TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDERS: “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1Policy.  It shall be the policy of the Federal Government to expand access to workplace retirement plans for American workers.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 23 percent of all private-sector, full-time workers lack access to a workplace retirement plan.  That percentage increases to 34 percent when part-time workers are taken into account.  Small businesses are less likely to offer retirement benefits.  In 2017, approximately 89 percent of workers at private-sector establishments with 500 or more workers were offered a retirement plan compared to only 53 percent for workers at private-sector establishments with fewer than 100 workers.  Enhancing workplace retirement plan coverage is critical to ensuring that American workers will be financially prepared to retire.

Regulatory burdens and complexity can be costly and discourage employers, especially small businesses, from offering workplace retirement plans to their employees.  Businesses are sensitive to the overall expense of setting up such plans.  A recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 71 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses that do not offer retirement plans were deterred from doing so by high costs; 37 percent cited high costs as their main reason for not offering such a plan.  Federal agencies should revise or eliminate rules and regulations that impose unnecessary costs and burdens on businesses, especially small businesses, and that hinder formation of workplace retirement plans.

Expanding access to multiple employer plans (MEPs), under which employees of different private-sector employers may participate in a single retirement plan, is an efficient way to reduce administrative costs of retirement plan establishment and maintenance and would encourage more plan formation and broader availability of workplace retirement plans, especially among small employers.

Similarly, reducing the number and complexity of employee benefit plan notices and disclosures currently required would ease regulatory burdens.  The costs and potential liabilities for employers and plan fiduciaries of complying with existing disclosure requirements may discourage plan formation or maintenance.  Improving the effectiveness of required notices and disclosures and reducing their cost to employers promote retirement security by expanding access to workplace retirement plans.

Outdated distribution mandates may also reduce plan effectiveness by forcing retirees to make excessively large withdrawals from their accounts — potentially leaving them with insufficient savings in their later years.

In light of the foregoing it shall, therefore, be the policy of the Federal Government to address these problems and promote retirement security for America’s workers.

-Donald Trump, “Executive Order on Strengthening Retirement Security in America,” whitehouse.gov, Aug. 31, 2018

[Note: Read the full Executive Order signed by Donald Trump.]