Kelly’s retirement savings bill included as House amendment to larger proposal

The U.S. House of Representatives on Dec. 20 voted to resolve differences to a U.S. Senate amendment and include legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) that aims to increase retirement savings.

The Shiloh National Military Park Boundary Adjustment and Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Designation Act, H.R. 88, now has “a section that includes key elements of the three retirement reform bills that I have been proud to author, introduce and champion over the last two years,” said Rep. Kelly on the House floor prior to its vote on the amendment.

H.R. 88 now contains a package of bills known as the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018, which also is known as the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 88. The package includes parts of three bills sponsored by Rep. Kelly. The three bills are the Family Savings Act of 2018, H.R. 6757, which Rep. Kelly introduced on Sept. 10 with 29 cosponsors; the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018, H.R. 5282, which Rep. Kelly introduced in March; and the Rightsizing Pension Premiums Act of 2017, H.R. 3596, which Rep. Kelly introduced in July 2017.

Prior to the House vote, Rep. Kelly called H.R. 88 “a comprehensive package that will, in many different ways, help millions of American families save more of their own money for their future.”

“In short,” said the congressman, “this package is a wonderful Christmas present for the American people that cannot come soon enough.”

Specifically, H.R. 88 would make it simpler for small employers to offer combined retirement plans to their employees, according to Kelly, which “would help bridge the divide between the benefits that large employers might offer to their employees, and those that smaller employers only wish they could offer until now.”

Overall, he added, the amended H.R. 88 could help ensure that future generations of Americans don’t outlive their retirement savings.

In a general summary of the approved amendment’s provisions provided by Rep. Kelly’s office, it would expand the use of 529 accounts; modernize the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help improve how taxpayers file taxes, retrieve information, resolve issues, and make payments; delay Affordable Care Act taxes, the Medical Device Tax and the Health Insurance Tax, among other provisions.

Rep. Kelly said Americans should be able to rely on three main income sources to ensure they have financial security during their retirement years: Social Security, personal savings and employer-sponsored savings plans.

“When it comes to that third source, an alarming number of Americans do not have access to an employer-provided 401(k) plan,” he said. “And among those who do, a recent study found that 42 percent of them have less than $10,000 in their plan.”

Additionally, 60 percent of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to pay for a $1,000 emergency medical expense, said the lawmaker, citing a Bankrate LLC financial security index survey released in January 2018.

“What we’re talking about today is relieving the burden on the next generation by making it easier for people to go into retirement feeling that they have enough income to enjoy their golden years,” Rep. Kelly said. “H.R. 88 will accomplish this goal by giving Americans the tools they need to help them save for the future and build a secure retirement.”

Rep. Kelly also highlighted two important tax credit provisions included in H.R. 88 that would help his constituents in western Pennsylvania. Specifically, H.R. 88 would make permanent the Railroad Track Maintenance Tax Credit for short-line railroads and would extend the Biodiesel Tax Credit, actions that would “directly support local economic growth and job creation in rural communities across America, including our district,” he said.

H.R. 88 has returned to the U.S. Senate to finalize reconciliation of any remaining differences before heading to the president’s desk for his signature to make the bill a federal law.