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On June 5, the House of Representatives approved H.R.2593, the Senior Security Act. The bill, which passed by a voice vote, tasks the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with creation of a Senior Investor Task Force. The Task Force’s mission is to protect senior investors from fraud.

The SEC Task Force will identify challenges encountered by senior citizens, “including problems associated with financial exploitation and cognitive decline.” In addition, the Task Force will consult with state securities and law enforcement authorities, state insurance regulators, and other federal agencies. It will also coordinate within the SEC itself. The Task Force will also make recommendations to both Congress and relevant federal agencies.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (R-NJ), praised the House action, saying, “Unfortunately, far too many of our seniors have had their hard-earned retirement savings stolen right out from under them when a scammer calls or shows up at their door. Millions of seniors across the country, including my own mother, have been the victims of financial scams, and far too many have been cheated out of their retirement savings.”

The bipartisan bill, said Gottheimer, takes aim at this kind of senior fraud and scams that victimize older adults. “Senior scams cost older Americans more than $36 billion a year, often hitting their retirement nest eggs,” he said.

A companion bill, S. 955, was introduced in the Senate this past March by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

Prospects: This legislation is bipartisan and likely to win considerable support in the Senate. However, challenges associated with limited time and competing priorities may slow action in the Senate. NAIFA supports the legislation.

NAIFA Staff Contact: Michael Hedge – Senior Director – Government Relations, at mhedge@naifa.org.