Brown Calls on Congressional Leaders to Make Good on President’s Promise to Protect Retirement Savings in Tax Reform

Last Week, Senator Applauded Administration for Promising Not to Reduce Retirement Contributions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following recent reports that congressional Republicans are considering cuts to 401(k)s and other retirement plans in their upcoming tax bill, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called on Republican leaders not to reduce or eliminate incentives for retirement savings. In a letter sent last week, Brown, along with U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bob Casey (D-PA), expressed strong support for President Trump’s recent commitment to protect retirement savings plans. The letter is attached here.

“We are alarmed by reports that you continue to consider ‘Rothification’ or severely limiting how much Americans can contribute to their retirement accounts,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Republican leaders. “Reducing the opportunities that millions of Americans have to save for their retirement and secure their standard of living in old age will only serve to put their future financial security more at risk.  Consistent with President Trump’s commitment, we urge you not to include any proposals in forthcoming legislation that would eliminate or curtail retirement savings incentives.”

President Trump tweeted last week that tax reform would not change 401(k) contributions, in response to reports that Congressional Republicans are considering sharp cuts to contribution limits. Last Monday, Brown applauded President Trump’s promise not to reduce 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) contribution limits for working families. A lower limit on Ohioans’ contributions to their 401(k) or IRA would raise taxes, reduce workers’ take home pay, and make it more expensive for Ohioans to save for retirement.

In September, Brown spoke out against efforts to tax the retirement savings of middle-class families, promising “one hell of a fight” during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.

Brown has offered to work with President Trump and members of Congress on tax reform that focuses on cutting taxes for middle class families and rewarding corporations that keep jobs in the U.S.

Earlier this month, Brown gave the President copies of his tax bills at a bipartisan meeting at the White House. The President expressed support for the ideas and interest in working together. Both of Brown’s bills have overwhelming support from the Democratic caucus, making them key to any bipartisan tax reform plan.

  • Brown’s Working Families Tax Relief Act expands access to and increases the value of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC), to ensure that no worker can be taxed into poverty by the federal tax system and working parents receive the support they need. Ivanka Trump has repeatedly supported refundable tax credits for working families, particularly a modest expansion of the CTC. 46 Democrats support Brown’s bill, showing it is key to any bipartisan package.


  • Brown’s Patriot Employers Tax Credit would reward employers who keep jobs in the United States and pay workers well – encouraging them to create even more good-paying jobs in the U.S. 47 Senators voted for Brown’s bill last week, showing it is key to any bipartisan package. President Trump suggested he would support a bill like Brown’s in an interview with Forbes last week, saying, "I also have another bill... an economic-development bill, which I think will be fantastic. Which nobody knows about. Which you are hearing about for the first time... Economic-development incentives for companies. Incentives for companies to be here." Companies that keep jobs in America get rewarded; those that send operations offshore "get penalized severely." "It's both a carrot and a stick," says the president. "It is an incentive to stay. But it is perhaps even more so—if you leave, it's going to be very tough for you to think that you're going to be able to sell your product back into our country."