Safety Nets

Empower Retirement Urges Congress to Enact Disaster Relief for Retirement Savers

American savers need help during unprecedented time of COVID (19) and market volatility

March 19, 2020 —  GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Empower Retirement is asking the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service for regulatory guidance and relief packages for Americans saving for retirement.

In the wake of the COVID (19) outbreak and related impacts on the economy and financial markets, Empower is joining industry peers in asking for relief on behalf of the 9.4 million working Americans it serves through workplace retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts. In a letter dated March 17, 2020 Empower is asking to allow:

  • Retirement plan participants to withdraw retirement savings early without a 10 percent tax.
  • Qualified disaster distributions in income over three years.
  • Withdrawals up to $100,000 from their qualified retirement plans with the income tax for the withdrawal spread out over three years.

Empower is working with industry trade groups to advance these and other measures. As in previous times of disaster, Congress and regulatory agencies have taken swift action to provide assistance to Americans with retirement savings plans.

Easier Access To Retirement Funds

“Empower is asking for relief that would make it easier for retirement plan participants, including Individual Retirement Account owners, to access their retirement funds during this unprecedented time of novel Coronavirus and resulting market volatility,” said Edmund F. Murphy III, Empower Retirement President and CEO.

Empower, the nation’s second largest retirement services provider by plan participants,1 serves the retirement needs of approximately 9.4 million Americans through 39,000 retirement plans.

“During this extraordinary time, the ability for Americans to have access to cash is essential,” Murphy said. “Empower stands ready to join industry leaders, lawmakers and government regulators to work out a solution that provides relief to American retirement savers.”

the ability for Americans to have access to cash is essential...

Empower joins other industry leaders in its request to Congress and regulatory agencies for guidance and swift action on relief packages that would enable American workers to access their savings as needed.




About Empower Retirement
Headquartered in metro Denver, Empower Retirement administers $686 billion in assets2 for more than 9.4 million retirement plan participants, as of Dec. 31, 2019. It is the nation’s second-largest retirement plan record keeper by total participants (Pensions & Investments, April 2018). Empower serves all segments of the employer-sponsored retirement plan market: government 457 plans; small, midsize and large corporate 401 (k) clients; non-profit 403 (b) entities; private-label recordkeeping clients; and Individual Retirement Account customers. For more information please visit
1Information refers to all retirement business of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York, marketed under Empower Retirement brand. Ranking based on total participant accounts as of March 31, 2019. Source, Pensions & Investments, 2019 Defined Contribution Survey Rankings as of March 31, 2019.
2 Information refers to the business of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, including Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company of New York. Of the total $686 assets under administration (AUA), as of 9/30/18, $570B represents the AUA of GWL&A of NY. AUA do not reflect the financial stability or strength of a company. GWL&A assets total $60.9B and liabilities total $58.9B. GWL&A of NY assets total $58.9B and liabilities total $2.2B.