WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded President Obama’s proposal to allow multiple employers to join together to offer their employees retirement plants. Brown’s Finance Committee Savings and Investment Working Group recommended removing barriers to open multiple employer plans (MEPs) last year. This would give small employers the opportunity to sponsor high-quality, low-cost plans for its workers. MEPs allow business to share the administrative and other responsibilities associated with providing retirement plans to their employees.

“Stagnant wages and the disappearance of defined benefit plans have left too many Americans with nothing to rely on in retirement except Social Security. We must increase opportunities for Americans to invest in their retirement to rebuild retirement security in this country,” said Brown. “Open multiple employer plans represent a tremendous opportunity for small businesses and employers to offer high-quality plan at little cost to its workers, and I’m pleased the President made this a priority in his budget. Removing barriers to open MEPs will help smaller employers offer competitive benefits and help more Americans plan for retirement.”

Open MEPs are plans in which two or more unrelated employers participate. This allows employers to share the administrative costs and other responsibilities of providing this plan to employees.

Brown – the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy – co-chaired the Savings and Investment Working Group, which offered several recommendations, to increase access to retirement plans and plan participation to help more Americans build their retirement security and help address America’s retirement security crisis.

Brown is leading the effort to ensure American workers and families have access to affordable savings and investment options. As ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee and the Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions, and Family Policy, Brown has used his committee platforms to advocate for strengthening Social Security and improving the private retirement savings system for all Americans.

Brown held a series of hearings on America’s ongoing retirement crisis and Social Security’s fundamental role in retirement security. In May 2014, Brown chaired a hearing entitled “Strengthening Social Security to Meet the Needs of Tomorrow’s Retirees,” that examined how Social Security can be expanded to meet the retirement crisis. In Feb. 2014, Brown chaired the first Congressional hearing on “myRA,” a retirement plan for low- and middle-income workers that was proposed by President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union Address. In Dec. 2013, Brown’s hearing examined “The Role of Social Security, Defined Benefits, and Private Retirement Accounts in the Face of the Retirement Crisis” and addressed the decline of defined benefit plans, the emergence of defined contribution plans, and Social Security’s fundamental role in retirement security.