In conjunction with the 2011 Leadership Conference, over 300 SHRM members travelled up to Capitol Hill on November 17 to meet with their senators and representatives and discuss key HR issues. These meetings, coupled with others conducted throughout the country by members of SHRM's Advocacy Team during the congressional August recess, reflect the heightened interest SHRM members have in personally engaging public policymakers on workplace issues.
Members discussed recent activity at the National Labor Relations Board concerning union organizing activities [see related article] and SHRM’s support for the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act, and also explained the important role that employer-provided retirement and health benefits play in recruiting and retaining top talent for their organizations.
In discussing the employee benefit issue, SHRM members also sought co-sponsors of a draft House Concurrent Resolution to be introduced soon by Representatives Jim Gerlach (R-PA) and Richard Neal (D-MA), heralding the impact tax incentives have had on strengthening the retirement security of working Americans.
With deficit reduction in mind, Congress is keenly aware of the revenue lost to the treasury due to the preferential tax treatment of these employer-provided benefits. In a September 22, 2011 statement before the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (also known as the "Super Committee"), the Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the benefits will result in nearly $1.3 trillion in lost revenue for the period of 2010 – 2014 (see chart on page 25 of the testimony).
As Congress searches for ways to reduce the federal deficit, SHRM will continue to advocate the importance employer-provided benefits have for America’s workforce.