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Sen. Tina Smith and Sen. Thom Tillis Recognized for Efforts to Help America’s Workers and Retirees

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) presented Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) with its Champion of Retirement Security Award in recognition of their leadership and efforts to enhance retirement security for America’s workers and retirees.

“Senator Tina Smith and Senator Thom Tillis have been leaders who have championed new laws to help America’s workers and retirees,” said Wayne Chopus, IRI President and CEO. The laws provide more opportunities to save for retirement and foster innovation to facilitate the greater use of protected, guaranteed lifetime income solutions. “We are honored to present them with the IRI Champion of Retirement Security Award.”

Sen. Smith serves on the Senate Committees on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). Sen. Tillis serves on the Senate Committees on Finance and Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

Senators Smith and Tillis were the sponsors and leaders of a bipartisan effort to enact the Registered Index Linked Annuities Act of 2022. The new law will ensure that investors considering a registered index-linked annuity (RILA) have clear, direct information that strengthens their understanding of this unique financial product. This is vital to increasing consumer protection to prevent significant financial losses, maintain consumer confidence, and ensure fair and efficient operation of the economy.

RILAs are among the fastest-growing insured retirement products of the past several years. These products can balance retirement portfolios by allowing participation in market growth while reducing exposure to market loss and helping savers reach retirement goals.

“Senators Smith’s and Tillis’ leadership was a critical element in enacting the Registered Index Linked Annuities Act, which will spur further product innovation and competition for these unique products,” Chopus said.

Sens. Smith and Tillis were also instrumental in following up with the SEC to ensure that the Commission acted promptly and in accordance with the intended purposes of the bill.

“Everyone deserves to retire with dignity and financial security,” said Sen. Smith. “We should be doing everything we can to help ensure Americans are on stable financial footing when they step away from their jobs. I want to thank the Insured Retirement Institute for this award and for all their great work on this issue.”

“I am honored to accept the 2023 Champion of Retirement Security Award,” said Sen. Tillis. “As a strong advocate for the more than 1.7 million retirees across North Carolina, I remain committed to supporting legislation that ensures their financial well-being and security.”

Senators Smith and Tillis also supported and voted for the SECURE Act and the SECURE 2.0 Act. These two new laws embodied the most sweeping changes to enhance the private sector retirement system in over a decade. The new laws will help generate billions more in retirement savings and reduce several challenges and obstacles workers and retirees face while seeking a secure and dignified retirement.

The IRI Champion of Retirement Security Award was established in 2013 to recognize policymakers who work to enhance retirement security in the United States.

Photo: Wayne Chopus and Sen. Tina Smith

Photo: Wayne Chopus and Sen. Thom Tillis

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Contact: Dan Zielinski


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