Ways & Means OKs Savings Measures

October 8, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The House Ways and Means Committee has passed a new bill that would give participants and plan sponsors some extra help in saving for retirement.

Today the Committee passed H.R. 5558, the Retirement Savings and Security Act of 2002, by a vote of 24-10.

The bill increases the age at which Americans are required to begin withdrawing money out of their IRAs and 401(k) plans from 70 ½ to 75, in order to give seniors more flexibility and control over their retirement savings.

Limits Less

The bill also accelerates the IRA, 401(k) plan, and catch-up contribution limits by allowing:

  • Individuals to make the full $5,000 IRA contribution beginning in 2003 rather than 2008;
  • Workers to make the full $15,000 contribution to 401(k) plans and other workplace retirement plans beginning in 2003 rather than 2006; and
  • Individuals age 50 and older to make the full $1,000 catch-up contribution to an IRA and the full $5,000 catch-up contribution to a 401(k) plan in 2003, rather than in 2006.

A pre-markup version of the bill’s provisions prepared by the Joint Committee on Taxation is at  http://www.house.gov/jct/x-98-02.pdf .   There is a version of the bill posted at  http://waysandmeans.house.gov/fullcomm/107cong/hr5558/hr5558into.pdf

Loss “Gains”

By a vote of 24-11, the Committee also passed H.R. 1619, a bill offered by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-California) that would increase the limit on capital losses – an issue of growing concern as the stock market continues to slide.   Since 1978, the amount of capital losses that individual taxpayers can deduct from their net capital losses has not changed from $3,000, according to a Committee press release.   The new bill increases this limit to $8,250, which approximates $3,000 indexed for inflation since 1978.

A copy of H.R. 1619 is online at  http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.01619: