Senate Passage of SECURE Act Would Help Gold Star Families and All Americans

Nov 11, 2019

Every November 11 on Veterans Day, the United States proudly honors the brave men and women who served in our armed forces. 

We also honor their families, for the many sacrifices and hardships they endured while their loved ones protected our nation.

These heroes and their families deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. Instead, some survivors of fallen U.S. troops are facing an undeserved tax burden.

The 2017 federal tax reform law unintentionally changed the tax rules for children of U.S. military members who died on duty. Consequently, an estimated 18,000 Gold Star families watched the tax bill on their survivor benefits skyrocket, often doubling, tripling or worse.

Members of Congress have introduced bills to fix this glaring error. One of the bills was included in the SECURE Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed in May, 417-3.

Perplexingly, the U.S. Senate has not yet voted on SECURE.

SECURE has attracted supporters from a broad coalition of businesses, trade associations and community groups, as well as financial advisors in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

And last month several U.S. senators called on Senate leadership to take up SECURE.

SECURE would ensure that Gold Star families won’t face another unfair tax bill for 2019. It would also give those families — and millions of other Americans — critical tools that will help them plan for and achieve financial security throughout retirement.

It’s not enough that we recognize our veterans with a national holiday. We also need to honor the survivors of our fallen warriors with legislation that will help them – now and moving forward.

These Gold Star families need the Senate to vote on SECURE without delay.

Alane Dent

Alane R. Dent served as Senior Vice President, Federal Relations for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) until March 2020. She oversaw issues affecting the life insurance industry; including tax, retirement security, financial services, international affairs and life insurance products.