09.14.18

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Legislation to Protect Wisconsin Women’s Retirement Security

Women’s Pension Protection Act addresses set of retirement security challenges disproportionately affecting women

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA), to introduce legislation to address some of the challenges families face as they plan for retirement—especially women who are more likely than men to face poverty in retirement.

“Today in America, ensuring a secure retirement is an essential building block in the foundation of our nation’s middle class. Unfortunately, women in Wisconsin and across the country face systemic roadblocks when it comes to saving for retirement,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to fight on behalf of women and families by addressing some of these challenges and protecting this critical investment in their future.”

“Ensuring economic equality, opportunity, and security for women means not only tackling the barriers they face in the workforce, but those they face in retirement as well. We know that unfortunately women are more likely to face poverty in old age, which is why I’m reintroducing the Women’s Pension Protection Act to help address some of the challenges that disproportionately impact women as they plan for their financial futures,” said Senator Murray.

The Women’s Pension Protection Act of 2018 (WPPA) includes a set of solutions to help strengthen women’s retirement security by addressing some of the challenges that disproportionately affect women as they plan for their financial futures. The legislation would strengthen consumer protections to safeguard retirement savings, improve access to retirement savings plans for long-term, part-time workers, help increase women’s financial literacy, and give support to low-income women and survivors of domestic abuse seeking the retirement benefits they are entitled to following a divorce.

The Women’s Pension Protection Act of 2018 would:

  • Strengthen consumer protections to safeguard retirement savings by expanding existing spousal protections for defined benefit plans to defined contributions plans to prevent one spouse from making decisions that might undermine a couple’s retirement resources without the other’s knowledge and consent;
  • Expand access to retirement savings plans by changing the minimum participation standards for long-term, part-time workers—most of whom are women;
  • Increase financial literacy by providing grants for community-based organizations to improve the financial literacy among women who are of working or retirement age;
  • Support low-income women and survivors of domestic abuse seeking retirement benefits by providing grants for community-based organizations that assist them in obtaining qualified domestic relations orders, the legal instruments that allow for the division of retirement benefits—assuring they receive the retirement benefits they are entitled to following a divorce or legal separation.

Other Senators cosponsoring the Women’s Pension Protection Act of 2018 include Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tina Smith (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The legislation has also been endorsed by AARP, the National Women’s Law Center, the Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, and the Pension Rights Center.

Text of the Women’s Pension Protection Act is available here.

More information about the Women’s Pension Protection Act is available here.