House votes to boost retirement savings

The House on Thursday passed a bipartisan bill aimed at boosting retirement savings that also fixes an issue with the GOP tax law.

The bill, known as the SECURE Act, passed by a vote of 417-3. The three lawmakers who voted against the bill were GOP Reps. Justin AmashJustin AmashLawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Sanford headed to New Hampshire amid talk of challenge to Trump MORE (Mich.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieAirports already have plenty of infrastructure funding Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (Ky.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyGOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats step up attacks ahead of Detroit debate Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess MORE (Texas).

The bill includes a number of provisions designed to encourage businesses to offer retirement plans and to make it easier for people to save for their retirements.

These include provisions that would make it easier for small businesses to join together to offer retirement plans, treat graduate students’ stipends as compensation for purposes concerning individual retirement accounts (IRA), allow long-term and part-time workers to participate in companies’ 401(k) plans, and eliminate the age maximum for contributing to IRAs.


“This is the most substantive promotion of retirement savings in the last 15 years,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard NealRichard Edmund NealNY files motion to keep Trump tax returns lawsuit out of DC court Democrats give cold shoulder to Warren wealth tax Senate Dems urge Mnuchin not to cut capital gains taxes MORE (D-Mass.).

The bill also would reverse changes that the GOP tax law made to a tax on children’s unearned income known as the “kiddie tax.”

Republicans aimed in their 2017 law to simplify the kiddie tax, which was originally created in the 1986 tax law to prevent wealthy people from avoiding taxes. However, the changes unintentionally ended up raising taxes on certain income received by children, such as benefits received by the children of deceased military members and first responders.

“What this tax bill did to Gold Star families was wrong, but I’ve been heartened to see so many of my colleagues join me in a bipartisan effort to right this wrong,” said Rep. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaThe House Democrats who voted to kill impeachment effort Bipartisan group of lawmakers invites colleagues to tour DC's Holocaust museum Hopes dim for passage of Trump trade deal MORE (D-Va.), who has been a leader in the efforts to reverse the tax increase.

When the Ways and Means Committee approved the retirement bill in April, the bill included provisions that would allow 529 education savings plans to be used for homeschooling expenses and certain nontuition expenses related to K-12 education. But those provisions were removed.

Neal said earlier this week that the two 529 provisions were removed because a considerable number of Democrats objected to them, while Republicans attributed to removal to the desires of “special interest” teachers unions.

Republicans were disappointed by the removal of the 529 provisions, but nearly every GOP lawmaker still voted for the bill.

“I am very encouraged by the underlying bill we have in front of us,” said Ways and Means Committee ranking member Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyRepublicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security The Social Security 2100 Act is critical for millennials and small business owners House panel releases documents of presidential tax return request before Trump MORE (R-Texas). "It will greatly benefit our workers. It deserves strong support.”

There is bipartisan interest in both chambers of Congress in passing legislation to increase retirement savings.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority' Environmental advocates should take another look at biofuels MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (D-Ore.) have introduced a bill that has a number of similarities to the bill that passed the House, and Sens. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanSchumer blasts 'red flag' gun legislation as 'ineffective cop out' McConnell faces pressure to bring Senate back for gun legislation Shaken Portman urges support for 'red flag' laws after Ohio shooting MORE (R-Ohio) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction Financial aid fraud is wrong — but overcorrection could hurt more students Democrats denounce Trump's attack on Cummings: 'These are not the words of a patriot' MORE (D-Md.) also recently introduced a package on retirement savings.

The Senate retirement bills don’t include the kiddie tax fix, but the Senate earlier this week passed a stand-alone bill to undo the tax increase on military survivor benefits received by children.

Updated at 11:54 a.m.