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Chairman Neal Votes to Strengthen Americans’ Retirement Security and Provide Urgently Needed Tax Fix for Gold Star Families

May 23, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC  – Today, United States Representative Richard E. Neal, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means voted to pass H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) to help Americans save more for a secure retirement and deliver an urgently needed fix for military survivors and families facing drastic tax hikes under the GOP Tax Law, including the GOP’s “kiddie tax” provision. 

 

“Countless individuals in Massachusetts are currently facing a retirement income crisis, with too many people in danger of not having enough in retirement to maintain their standard of living and avoid sliding into poverty,” said Congressman Neal.   “According to two recent studies, one-third of American workers believe they will either face significant financial hardship during retirement or will never retire, and almost two-thirds of workers have no retirement account assets whatsoever.  As Members of Congress, it is our responsibility to ensure that, for every American, a lifetime of hard-work will be met with the dignity, respect and economic security they deserve.”

 

The SECURE Act includes numerous provisions to make it easier for American workers to save for retirement, expand opportunities for them to increase their retirement savings and ensure that all Americans are paying their fair share in taxes, including:

  • Making it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans to employees;
  • Helping provide retirement benefit opportunities to home care workers;
  • Allowing long-time, part-time workers to participate in a 401(k) plan;
  • Providing relief to Cooperative and Small Employer Charity pension plans; and
  • Closing down the Stretch IRA loophole used by the wealthy to obtain beneficial tax status on inherited income.

 

The SECURE Act also repeals the GOP Tax Law’s “kiddie tax” provisions, providing urgent tax relief to surviving military families and children across the country.

 

“One of the most outrageous consequences of the GOP tax scam was the increased tax burden on families of servicemembers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” continued Congressman Neal.  “Our men and women in uniform should never fear that their children and loved ones will suffer if the worst should happen.  I am proud to join my colleagues to repeal this devastating ‘kiddie tax’ provision and ensure that our military families know that the government will be there for them in the aftermath of their loss.”

 

The spouses of our fallen heroes sometimes sign over earned benefits to their children to ensure their families receives all the benefits they have earned.  The 2017 GOP Tax Law, which brought changes to how children’s assets are taxed, increased a surviving child’s tax burden from between 12-15 percent to the trust and estate tax rate of around 37 percent – requiring families to pay thousands of additional dollars in taxes on survivor benefits.  The SECURE Act fixes this flawed tax treatment of payments to military survivors and families as well as provisions that unfairly and unexpectedly raised tax rates on tribal government payments to children, certain scholarships and fellowship grants, payments made to children of fallen first responders and other payments to children.

 

“The SECURE Act is a vital step forward that will strengthen the retirement security and confidence of every American and relieve the burden of the GOP Tax Scam on our nation’s most vulnerable children and families,” added Congressman Neal.  “House Democrats are committed to fighting to guarantee the dignity of a good retirement and safeguard the prosperity and financial well-being of the American people.  We will never back down from our mission to lift up every family in every community across the country.”

 

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