GOP House tax leader endorses 401(k) plans but doesn't commit to changing them

GOP House tax leader endorses 401(k) plans but doesn't commit to changing them

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, spoke favorably about 401(k) plans and the need to get more Americans to save but did not provide reassurances to Americans that they wouldn’t be touched in the tax reform efforts.

Speaking at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit on Wednesday, Brady elaborated on comments he made earlier that day suggesting 401(k) changes may be on the table.

“401k(s) are very strong,” he said. “I do have a worry that not enough Americans are saving. Those who do, save less than $200 a month,” Brady said.

President Donald Trump tweeted earlier this week he would not accept any changes to the 401(k) plans, something that could lead to conflict with Brady or his equivalent in the Senate, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

Brady did note that he was speaking to Trump on a regular basis. “I’m certainly listening to President Donald Trump, so if any changes are made, we’ll do that in a positive way and in concert with the White House,” he said. “I believe the president isn’t just going to sign this, he’ll make the case of why this is going to get the economy going again.”

Avoiding addressing whether he might change the 401(k) directly, Brady emphasized that tax reform would put more money back into American pockets, something that he believes would lead to more savings.

“Clearly retirement is an important part of your life,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re looking at encouraging people to save more and early. Again no decision has been made.”

In the ongoing conversation over tax reform, the matter of how middle-class families will benefit has been called into question. To one proposal — to make new tax policy retroactive so legislation passed in 2018 would boost middle-class paychecks immediately — Brady again said no decision had been made.

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