NEW YORK, Jan. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA) has submitted a comment letter to the Department of Labor (DOL) concerning the DOL's proposal to exempt state-sponsored IRA savings programs from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The DOL's proposal is intended to tackle a crisis in retirement savings: millions of American workers lack access to workplace retirement savings plans, disproportionately those who work for small employers. Voya agrees there is an urgent need to expand access to workplace retirement savings plans to address the retirement savings gap. However, Voya believes the DOL proposal is not an effective solution and would create new challenges for small businesses and their employees.
The DOL proposal would enable a 50-state patchwork of government-administered retirement savings vehicles with inconsistent state and local regulations, low annual contribution limits, no opportunity for employer contributions and limited access to retirement planning and advice. This patchwork will be difficult, if not impossible, to dismantle once built, and, if other layers of systems or requirements are added at the federal level in the future, there will be an even more confusing "50 plus one" patchwork of state and federal standards, rather than a single, streamlined standard.
In its comment letter, Voya notes that retirement readiness is best achieved through a combination of automatic enrollment, sufficiently high limits for employee contributions, flexibility for employers to match contributions, access to high quality retirement planning advice and availability of an appropriate range of investment alternatives. Therefore, Voya respectfully urges the DOL to withdraw its proposal, and instead to seek a uniform federal solution that encourages employers to offer 401(k) and similar retirement savings plans with long track records of helping Americans successfully prepare for retirement.
Voya is a Fortune 500 business and leading provider of retirement, asset management and insurance solutions that help make a secure financial future possible. Voya serves approximately 47,000 plan sponsors, 4.5 million plan participants, and 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States.
Voya urges the DOL to work with legislators, private industry and other stakeholders to craft an appropriate federal framework to address the retirement savings gap rather than creating a new state-based system.
Media Contact: Jeanne LaCour Voya Financial (212) 309-8949 Jeanne.LaCour@voya.com
Investor Contact: Darin Arita Voya Financial (212) 309-8999 IR@voya.com
About Voya Financial® Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2014. The company had $450 billion in total assets under management and administration as of September 30, 2015. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya's vision is to be America's Retirement Company™. The company is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible — Voya has been recognized as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies, by the Ethisphere Institute, and as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit voya.com or view the company's 2014 annual report. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.
SOURCE Voya Financial, Inc.