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Retirement Policy Proponent Sen. Ben Cardin Announces His Own Retirement


After 55 years as an elected official, Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md., announced that he will not seek reelection.

In a statement on Monday, Cardin, a supporter and sponsor of major retirement plan legislation in his time in the Senate, said, “I have run my last election and will not be on the ballot in 2024, but there is still much work to be done,” before listing his priorities before leaving office.

He specifically mentioned his “Decades-long action resulting in making it easier for Americans to save more for retirement, encourage small businesses to offer retirement plans, [and expanded] access for low-income Americans,” as part of his accomplishments.

“We got retirement security done, and you gave up a lot of dinners so I could get my retirement bills accomplished,” he said to wife Myrna in a video where they reminisced about his time in office and their life together.

Along with retired Senator Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Cardin was instrumental in the passage of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act in 2019 and SECURE 2.0 in 2022.

“Without question, the retirement plan industry would not be where it is today without Senator Cardin’s decades of efforts to reverse the damage that was done in the 1980s and early 1990s and to vastly improve the system since then,” American Retirement Association (ARA) CEO Brian Graff said.

"Senator Cardin has been in elected office serving the state of Maryland since he was 23 years old and still in law school," Andrew Remo, ARA's Director of Federal and State Legislative Affairs and a former Cardin staffer, added. "It was an honor to be a part of his staff when he was starting out in the United States Senate. He was a major force in Congress to advance policies to ensure every American could retire with dignity. He is a Maryland and retirement policy institution and will be sorely missed."

First elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1968 while still in law school at the University of Maryland, Cardin served as Maryland Ways and Means Chair and then as one of the youngest Speakers in Maryland’s history from 1979-1986.

From 1987-2006, he represented Maryland’s Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and served for 17 years on the House Ways & Means Committee. Cardin was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006. He is completing his third term.

 In addition to his leadership of the Small Business Committee, Cardin is the second-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations and Environment & Public Works Committees.

He also is a member of the Senate Finance Committee and is co-chair of the Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission). Cardin served as ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2015-2018.