Better Benefits for Gig Workers?

At the end of a Congressional session, it’s common for members of Congress to introduce legislation that promotes new ideas and concepts.  These bills often face long odds against enactment, but they can shape debate and serve as a marker and guide for new policy directions.  I hope that is the case with the new Retirement Savings for Working Americans Act, introduced this month by a bipartisan group of Senators and House members.  This legislation creates a new retirement benefits programs focused on free lancers and independent workers, who currently lack access to reliable and affordable options for retirement savings.   The program is modeled on the government’s Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees.  It will provide portable benefits and matching contributions for independent workers, and significantly enhance our current spotty safety net for freelancers.  We’re in the midst of a boom in new business starts and we’re also seeing more workers embrace independent, free-lance, and gig work.  These workers need—and deserve—access to a stronger safety net for retirement.  Let’s hope that this bill gets more attention and support in the coming year.