House Passes Bill With Many Savings Arrangement Enhancements

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two of three bills that collectively comprise “Tax Reform 2.0” this week, and is expected to vote on the third today, September 28. One of these bills passed this week—the Family Savings Act of 2018—would make significant changes to the landscape of tax-advantaged savings arrangements. Included in it are provisions affecting employer-sponsored retirement plans, IRAs, 529 college savings programs, as well as a new all-purpose tax-free savings arrangement known as the Universal Savings Account.

Tax Reform 2.0

The Tax Reform 2.0 package is intended to be a follow-up to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted in December of 2017. The primary objective of Tax Reform 2.0 has been to make permanent the individual income tax cuts in the 2017 legislation, which currently are set to expire in 2026. In addition to individual tax cut permanence and savings arrangement enhancements, a third component of Tax Reform 2.0 relates to “business innovation.” The business innovation component also was passed by the House this week; the individual income tax permanence bill is expected to be voted on by the House today (Friday, September 28).

Senate Opposition

Prospects for making the 2017 individual income tax cuts permanent, however, are considered poor because of opposition in the U.S. Senate. In light of this, there has been increasing focus on the possibility of advancing stand-alone legislation to enhance tax-advantaged savings arrangements. Some speculate that the House’s passage of the Family Savings Act could lead to a counter-move by the Senate with its own savings enhancement proposals, with the potential for a compromise bill containing a blend of House and Senate provisions.

Family Savings Act Details

The Family Savings Act bill that just passed virtually mirrors the legislation as first described at ascensus.com News early in September. Added to this are the addition of a fiduciary safe harbor for employers who include lifetime income investments in their retirement plans, and a provision allowing 529 education savings program accounts to be established for unborn children. Watch this Ascensus.com News for further details.