Lucas: Legislation to Help Military Families Save for Retirement

Mike Seals - September 10, 2020 11:03 am

Cheyenne, OK – Last week, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined U.S. Representatives Jason Crow (CO-06), Brad Wenstrup (OH-02) and House Armed Services Ranking Member Mac Thornberry (TX-13) in cosponsoring the Military Spouse Retirement Security Act, a bipartisan bill that would help spouses of active duty service members save for retirement by expanding access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Many American households struggle to save for their golden years, especially as the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic pose an additional threat to retirement security.  Spouses of active duty service members, however, face an additional hurdle to saving for retirement. According to the Department of Defense, about one-third of military service members experience a permanent change of station every year. When service members move, their spouses often relocate with them, putting their own careers on hold.

“From Altus and Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma’s Third District to Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma has a long and proud history of supporting our nation’s military. Just as the brave men and women of our military execute their missions- whether serving at home or abroad- America’s military families also play an integral role in supporting our Armed Forces,” said Congressman Lucas“Deployments, training, and relocations often make it hard for military families to benefit from financial options often used by their neighbors to help save for retirement. The Military Spouse Retirement Security Act would ease these financial burdens and would encourage small business employers to provide military spouses with accelerated access to retirement plans and employer contributions.”

 Under the Military Spouse Retirement Security Act:

  • Small employers – with 100 employees or fewer – would be eligible for a tax credit of up to $500 per year per military spouse.
  • The credit would be available for three years per military spouse.
  • The amount of the credit would be equal to $250 per military spouse plus 100 percent of all employer contributions for that spouse, up to $250.
  • Small employers must make a military spouse immediately eligible for retirement plan participation within two months of hire.
  • Upon plan eligibility, a military spouse must be eligible for any matching or non-elective contribution available to a similarly situated employee with at least two years of service, and must be 100 percent immediately vested in all employer contributions.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense’s most recent report, there are 2,101,134 military personnel across the Active Duty and Selected Reserve population and 2,627,805 family members- including spouses, children, and adult dependents.

According to the same report, Oklahoma is home to 20,807 Active Duty personnel and 13,400 Selected Reserve members. Across Oklahoma’s military installations there are 1,649 dependents amongst the personnel serving at Altus Air Force Base, 12,536 dependents amongst the personnel serving at Fort Sill, 7,588 dependents amongst the personnel serving at Tinker Air Force Base, and 1,167 dependents amongst the personnel serving at Vance Air Force Base.

 

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