On August 31, President Trump signed an executive order to cut some of the administrative burdens and costs that can prevent smaller employers from offering 401(k) plans for their workers.
“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,” the executive order said. “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.”
President Trump is asking the Labor and Treasury Departments to study the issue and offer new rules.
According to an article published by Investment News that provided further details on the executive order, the mutual fund industry has lobbied for years for regulatory changes that would make it easier for small businesses to offer 401(k) plans and bring more savers into the retirement system. Legislation backed by both Republicans and Democrats is pending on Capitol Hill that would have a similar impact to the executive order. White House officials quoted in the article said the administration can enact many changes without Congress.