Seniors Deserve Retroactive Relief (Rep. Spencer Bachus & Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen)

The decline in the stock market that has accompanied our nation’s financial crisis has hit the retirement savings of senior citizens especially hard. However, many seniors believe in keeping their money invested, hoping that over time a market recovery will help rebuild their nest eggs. The problem is an IRS regulation that forces seniors to take a minimum annual distribution from their retirement accounts or face a tax penalty as high as 50 percent. We are working to solve this problem. While Congress has passed legislation waiving the requirement for this year, we believe that there should be retroactive relief for the year 2008 when losses were most severe. That is why we have introduced the IRS Equity for Seniors Act and written President Obama requesting the provision’s inclusion in the economic stimulus bill. Our seniors, many living on fixed incomes, should not be forced to take money from their retirement accounts at a time when the value of their investments has plummeted.