GOP members seek Senate consideration of SECURE Act

U.S. Sens. Martha McSally (R-AZ), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Rob Portman (R-OH) last week requested that U.S. Senate leadership consider a bipartisan package of bills already approved by the U.S. House of Representatives to help expand access to retirement plans for millions of Americans.

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, H.R. 1994, which is comprised of 14 related bills, also would allow older citizens to contribute more to their retirement accounts; increase 401(k) coverage to part-time employees; and prevent roughly four million people in private-sector pension plans from losing future benefits, according to an Oct. 17 letter the senators sent to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The House on May 23 approved H.R. 1994, introduced by U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), on a 417-3 vote. The Senate received the bill for consideration on June 3.

“We encourage the Senate to take action on the SECURE Act as soon as possible,” the senators wrote.  “Doing so demonstrates to our constituents that the Senate can lead in a bipartisan why for workers saving for retirement, tax fairness, and family financial security.”

Additionally, H.R. 1994 would improve support for U.S. military Gold Star families, by correcting “unfair tax treatment of the survivor benefits of more than 18,000 children and spouses of fallen service members,” according to their letter, which also was signed by U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC).

If enacted, H.R. 1994 also would allow tax-free distributions of retirement saving by new parents, including those who are adopting, according to the senators’ letter.