NEWS RELEASE

February 27, 2014
PR-14/04

For additional information:
Jason Hammersla
office 202-289-6700
cell 202-422-4652 (cell)

Tax policy must support employer-sponsorship of health and retirement benefits

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the recent release of a tax reform discussion draft by Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI), the American Benefits Council's Lynn Dudley, senior vice president, retirement and international benefits policy, released the following statement:

"The American Benefits Council appreciates Chairman Camp's leadership in beginning the process on tax reform and we share policymakers' interest in a fair and simplified tax system for all Americans that is intended to support the growth of jobs and the economy."

Dudley continued, "Though we still are reviewing the details, an initial read of the Chairman's draft bill reveals a number of provisions that would affect both health care benefits and retirement savings, including tax treatment of the health care tax exclusion and 401(k) plan contributions. We will examine the proposed changes closely to understand their interaction with other proposed changes and their overall impact on employees and employer-sponsored retirement and health plans."

The Council's more than 370 members sponsor or provide services to health and retirement plans covering more than 100 million Americans. Employer-sponsorship of health care plans provides on-going innovations including wellness programs that spur employees and their families to healthier lifestyles while reducing health care costs. In addition, participation in voluntary employer-sponsored retirement programs helps millions of Americans be more productive and financially secure.

"These savings play a significant role in the US and global economies and take pressure off of government programs, Dudley noted. "Research shows the current system of tax incentives for defined contribution plans benefits workers all along the income spectrum, including low-income workers. We believe it is critical to every employee's financial security that any tax-reform measures preserve strong retirement savings incentives for all Americans."

"Without a doubt," she continued, "current and future employees and retirees face unprecedented economic and demographic challenges. Lawmakers can help meet these challenges by avoiding obstacles and costs that impede employers' ability to sponsor retirement and health plans. Congress' policies should continue to support employers and employees in leading healthy and productive lives and achieving financial security through a balanced system that includes Social Security, defined contribution plans like the 401(k), defined benefit plans, individual retirement accounts, and other savings."

Dudley concluded, "We will carefully review Chairman Camp's proposal and look forward to continuing to work with policymakers to strengthen even further the successful employer-sponsored benefits system."

For more information on retirement savings, or to arrange an interview with Council policy staff, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at jhammersla@abcstaff.org or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 422-4652 (cell).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.