A bipartisan bill was reintroduced Wednesday in the Senate that encourages small employers to provide military spouses with accelerated access to retirement plans, employer contributions and vesting.
Under the Military Spouses Retirement Security Act, employers with 100 employees or fewer would be eligible for a tax credit of up to $500 a year for each military spouse. The credit would be available for three years and the amount would be equal to $200 for each military spouse plus 100% of all employer contributions for that spouse, up to $300, according to a news release from the bill's sponsors: Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., James Lankford, R-Okla., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Ms. Collins and Ms. Hassan previously introduced the bill in July 2020.
To receive the credit, small employers must make a military spouse eligible for retirement plan participation within two months of hire. Also, 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 immediately 100% vested in all employer contributions.
"Given how frequently many military families move in service to our country, saving for retirement can often be a difficult task," Ms. Hassan said in the news release. "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."
Mr. Lankford, in the same news release, said military families make great sacrifices. "Every assignment and deployment impacts a family, and too often, that can mean sacrificing access to retirement benefits," he said. "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."