Representatives Richard Neal (D-MA) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA) will introduce today a House Concurrent Resolution expressing the Sense of the Congress that our current tax system for retirement savings provides important benefits to Americans as they plan for a financially secure retirement. The resolution currently has 102 Republican and Democratic co-sponsors, largely due to the direct lobbying and member advocacy efforts of SHRM. In particular, SHRM launched an Advocacy Team (A-Team) effort in the last two weeks to complement our direct lobbying activities. Prior to these SHRM efforts, co-sponsorship of the resolution was 52 members.
Working with Representatives Neal and Gerlach to garner support for the resolution, SHRM has:
- Conducted in-person SHRM staff lobbying efforts, visiting every member of the House Ways and Means and Education and Workforce Committees. Totaling 76 offices in the last 4 months;
- Engaged SHRM members to advocate in support of the resolution, resulting in 1,131 letters to Congress, 60 phone calls to committee staff and conducted numerous in-person, in-district meetings by SHRM A-team members;
- Directed 275 SHRM member office visits during the 2011 Leadership Conference;
- Utilized social media via twitter to encourage support for the resolution and to provide information.
A concurrent resolution, unlike a bill, does not create a law. It simply states a member or group of members of Congress’ view on an issue or matter that is important to the Congress. Given the current economic situation, Congress’ desire to reduce the deficit, balance the budget and reform the current tax code, this resolution is an important tool to educate members of Congress, the public and others about the value of retirement savings.
This bi-partisan resolution states:
- tax incentives for retirement savings play an important role in encouraging employers to sponsor and maintain retirement plans and encouraging participants to contribute to such plans;
- existing tax incentives have increased the number of Americans who are covered by a retirement plan; and
- a reformed and simplified Tax Code should include properly structured tax incentives to maintain and contribute to such plans and to strengthen retirement security for all Americans.
SHRM is a strong advocate of this House Concurrent Resolution. SHRM believes that a comprehensive and flexible benefits package is an essential tool in recruiting and retaining talented employees. Additionally, the government should facilitate and encourage voluntary employer-sponsored plans, as well as individual savings through consistent tax incentives and simplified regulations. Increasing the number of co-sponsors on the resolution was imperative in order to bring strength to the resolution and demonstrate HR’s strong belief in the current taxation structure for retirement plans.
SHRM is a leader on the Coalition to Protect Retirement, comprised of key stakeholders on the issue of retirement security and a member of the Retirement Savings Network. Through both these entities, SHRM has been at the forefront on the issue of retirement security. For a copy of the resolution, please click HERE. If you have any questions regarding this resolution, please contact Kathleen Coulombe, Senior Associate, Government Relations at Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org.