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 AmashEnergized by polls, House Democrats push deeper into GOP territory Ocasio-Cortez draws hundreds of thousands of viewers on Twitch livestream Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones MORE (Mich.), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieHouse in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas GOP lawmaker praises Kyle Rittenhouse's 'restraint' for not emptying magazine during shooting MORE (Ky.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyBiden pushes into Trump territory In partisan slugfest, can Chip Roy overcome Trump troubles? McCarthy faces pushback from anxious Republicans over interview comments 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 NealLawmakers offer bipartisan bill to encourage retirement savings Democrats express concerns about IRS readiness for next year's filing season On The Money: Kudlow confident that Trump can 'round up' Senate GOP behind coronavirus relief deal | US deficit spikes to record .1T 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 LuriaHouse lawmakers call for continued assistance to Lebanon On The Money: Sides tiptoe towards a COVID deal, but breakthrough appears distant | Expiring benefits raise stakes of stimulus talks | Stocks fade with eyes on Capitol Democrat urges IRS to quickly process Gold Star families' refund requests 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 BradyLawmakers offer bipartisan bill to encourage retirement savings On The Money: GOP cool to White House's .6T coronavirus price tag | Company layoffs mount as pandemic heads into fall | Initial jobless claims drop to 837,000 GOP cool to White House's .6T coronavirus price tag 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 GrassleyBarrett confirmation stokes Democrats' fears over ObamaCare On The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes MORE (R-Iowa) and ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenPlaintiff and defendant from Obergefell v. Hodges unite to oppose Barrett's confirmation Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing House Democrats slam FCC chairman over 'blatant attempt to help' Trump 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 PortmanGraham wants to review ActBlue's source of small-dollar contributions GOP blocks Schumer effort to adjourn Senate until after election Candymakers meet virtually with lawmakers for annual fly-in, discuss Halloween safety MORE (R-Ohio) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinBipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Pelosi hopeful COVID-19 relief talks resume 'soon' Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out 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.