Bill would help military spouses save for retirement

Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg, NC 1st Brigade barracks. Photo by Jonas N. Jordan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire have introduced a bill that would help spouses of active-duty service members save for retirement by expanding access to employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Collins, a Republican, and Hassan, a Democrat, said the economic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic pose an additional threat to saving for retirement, and military spouses face another hurdle. When military service members experience a permanent change of station move, their spouses often relocate with them, putting their own careers on hold.

 Under the Military Spouse Retirement Security Act, small employers, those with 100 workers or fewer, would be eligible for a tax credit up to $500 per year per military spouse. The credit would be available for three years per military spouse.

Also, small employers must make a military spouse immediately eligible for retirement plan participation within two months of hire. 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 immediately be 100% vested in all employer contributions.