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Wenstrup, Crow Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Military Families Save for Retirement

WASHINGTON - Today, Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Jason Crow (D-CO) introduced the Military Spouses Retirement Security Act, bipartisan legislation that would help spouses of active duty servicemembers save for retirement by expanding access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

“Our nation’s military spouses make countless sacrifices in support of our nation’s warfighters. With the military lifestyle often requiring families to continuously move from one location to another, these unsung heroes are often asked to put their own goals on hold. Too often, military spouses cannot remain in a job long enough to fully utilize the financial options available to those with longevity at a business or company,” said Congressman Wenstrup. “Our commonsense, bipartisan bill would help military families alleviate some of the stresses they face by providing them with more financial security and stability.”

“When someone takes the oath to serve, the whole family serves. Deployments, training, and frequent relocations can take a real toll on military families. Military spouses often put their own careers on hold to support their partners’ service, which threatens their family’s long-term retirement security,” said Congressman Jason Crow. “This bipartisan legislation would encourage small business employers to provide military spouses with a retirement plan, providing financial security and stability to families that are forced to deal with constant change and upheaval.”

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 servicemembers, 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 and forgoing eligibility for retirement benefits with their employers.

 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 $250 per military spouse plus 100 percent of all employer retirement 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.