WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), and James Lankford (R-Okla.) introduced the Military Spouses 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 future, a challenge that has been exacerbated by the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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, requiring them to change jobs or put their own careers on hold.
“Every American should be able to save for their future, especially our military spouses who make difficult professional decisions to support their loved ones who serve,” said Bennet. “This bipartisan bill will enhance economic security for military spouses and their families, who make the ultimate sacrifice for our country, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to move this legislation forward.”
“Like many Americans, spouses of active duty service members often face challenges when it comes to saving for retirement. Military spouses also face one hurdle that many others do not: frequent moves and changes in employment,” said Collins. “By encouraging small employers to provide military spouses with accelerated access to retirement plans, employer contributions, and vesting, our bipartisan bill would help to strengthen the financial security of these unsung heroes of our country’s national defense.”
“Like all of us, military spouses want to be able to save for a secure retirement. Given how frequently many military families move in service to our country, saving for retirement can often be a difficult task,” said Hassan. “Our bipartisan legislation takes important steps to help military spouses save for a comfortable retirement, and I look forward to working across the aisle to move this commonsense bill forward.”
“The men and women who wear the cloth of our nation have made great sacrifices,” said Lankford. “For many of them, their families equally make many sacrifices as well. Every assignment and deployment impacts a family, and too often, that can mean sacrificing access to retirement benefits. This legislation encourages businesses to make it easier for military spouses to participate in retirement plans and ease some of the burdens of moving every few years. This is a simple way we can honor their sacrifices, make their life of service easier, and help prepare them for their retirement.”
Under the Military Spouses 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 $200 per military spouse plus 100 percent of all employer contributions for that spouse, up to $300.
- To receive the credit, small employers must meet the following criteria:
- Make a military spouse immediately eligible for retirement plan participation within two months of hire, and
- 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.
The bill text is available HERE.