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Earlier this week, House and Senate leadership named members to serve on a conference committee that will work to reconcile the differences between the House- and Senate-passed tax bills. Once completed, the conference agreement will then be voted on by each congressional chamber before it advances to President Donald Trump for his signature.
The House and Senate versions of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, did not make any adverse changes to the tax treatment of defined contribution retirement plans. However, the House bill contained two policy provisions that SHRM has advocated in favor of for several years—improving the guidance related to nondiscrimination testing for defined benefit pension plans and allowing employees additional time to pay back loans from their defined contribution retirement plan should they be separated from employment unexpectedly.
While the legislation contains these positive changes to retirement plans, the tax-free status of other vital benefits—including employer-provided education assistance, qualified tuition reduction arrangements, adoption assistance, moving expenses, employee achievement awards and dependent care flexible spending accounts—face elimination. Areas that would impact the workplace include:
SHRM sent a letter to conferees this week urging them to preserve employer-provided benefits, including Section 127, Section 117 and dependent care flexible spending accounts. SHRM continues to work with members of the SHRM-led Coalition to Preserve Employer-Provided Education Assistance and the SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team) to advocate for the preservation of these important benefits.
Review a side-by-side comparison of all the HR-related provisions in the House and Senate bills.
Advocate in support of employer-provided benefits, including education assistance.
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