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Capitol Hill Update

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Last week, Representatives Richard Neal (D-MA) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA) introduced House Concurrent Resolution 101, expressing the Sense of the Congress that our current tax system for retirement savings provides important benefits to Americans as they plan for a financially secure retirement.

This bi-partisan resolution states:

  • tax incentives for retirement savings play an important role in encouraging employers to sponsor and maintain retirement plans and encouraging participants to contribute to such plans;
  • existing tax incentives have increased the number of Americans who are covered by a retirement plan; and
  • that a reformed and simplified Tax Code should include properly structured tax incentives to maintain and contribute to such plans and to strengthen retirement security for all Americans.

Given the current economic conditions, along with Congress’ desire to reduce the deficit, balance the budget and reform the current tax code, this resolution will serve as an important tool in educating members of Congress, the general public and others about the importance and value of fostering an environment to spur retirement savings now and in the future.

As with similar legislative vehicles, increasing the number of co-sponsors on such a resolution prior to its introduction was imperative in order to show the level of strength and support within the House of Representatives for this measure. The resolution currently has 102 Republican and Democratic co-sponsors, largely due to the direct lobbying and member advocacy efforts of SHRM members across the country. In particular, SHRM launched an Advocacy Team (A-Team) effort in early February to compliment SHRM’s direct lobbying activities in support of the measure. Prior to these SHRM efforts, co-sponsorship of the resolution was 52 members.

SHRM believes that a comprehensive and flexible benefits package is an essential tool in recruiting and retaining talented employees. Additionally, the government should facilitate and encourage voluntary employer-sponsored plans, as well as individual savings through consistent tax incentives and simplified regulations. SHRM is a leader on the Coalition to Protect Retirement, comprised of key stakeholders on the issue of retirement security and a member of the Retirement Savings Network. Through both these entities, SHRM has been at the forefront on the issue of retirement security.

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