Sharon L. Lippett, Member of the Firm in the Employee Benefits practice, in the firm’s New York office, was quoted in Law360, in “4 Benefits Policy Developments to Watch in 2022's 2nd Half,” by Kellie Mejdrich. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

President Joe Biden's administration plans to unveil several high-profile rules affecting benefit plans regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act before year-end, while Congress is negotiating differences between the House and Senate on a broad retirement policy omnibus bill.

Here, Law360 takes a look at four important legislative and regulatory policy developments affecting employee benefits that experts are watching for in the second half of 2022.

Secure 2.0

Congress hopes to send Biden a bipartisan retirement policy bill by the end of the year, but key differences between the House and Senate versions remain, including the issue of whether the overhaul will require employers to auto-enroll more workers in 401(k) plans.

The House included such a provision in its version that passed 414-5 in March. The bill, H.R. 2954, was heralded by House leaders as a major expansion of 401(k) access that builds on a project started in 2019 with the passage of the original Secure Act, hence the nickname Secure 2.0.

But the Senate's version doesn't go as far, and the difference is emerging as a key disparity between the two legislative packages as negotiations proceed.

Senate lawmakers plan to combine two pieces of legislation: a retirement package advanced by the Finance Committee on June 22 and another measure, S. 4353, which was approved June 14 by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Both bills advanced out of committee unanimously, in a sign of strong bipartisan support in the chamber.

If that combined package passes the Senate as expected, lawmakers must work out differences with the House version before anything can reach the president's desk. Already, leaders in Congress are eyeing passage of the legislation in December as part of a year-end tax or budget bill.

"I expect there would be some kind of auto-enrollment provision," said Sharon Lippett, a member of Epstein Becker Green's benefits and executive compensation practice, given a focus in the House bill on "increasing participation in retirement plans and increasing retirement savings."

Lippett said she's also watching for how the final package handles proposed increases to the limits on retirement plan catch-up contributions.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.