House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, helps unveil the framework for what became the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, at a Sept. 27 press conference. (Photo: House) House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady in September. (Photo: House)

Retirement and life insurance industry officials are pressing House and Senate lawmakers to pass comprehensive retirement legislation before adjourning this year.

Industry officials say a House vote on House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady’s tax and retirement package that was released on Nov. 26 but was revised by the Texas Republican on Dec. 10, is anticipated to be up for a vote on the House floor this week.

The Senate is expected to follow with a vote, and likely passage, next week on its own retirement package, leaving the House to decide whether to take up the measure.

It’s unclear whether Brady’s legislation will be attached to a year-end spending bill.

Industry officials project a 50/50 chance of lawmakers passing a retirement package before they adjourn.

Congress must adjourn by Jan. 3, when the new Congress is sworn in. All legislation introduced in 2018 will then die and must be reintroduced in the next Congress.

The American Council of Life Insurers as well as the Insured Retirement Institute are among the 51 retirement and life insurance industry officials who urged top House and Senate lawmakers in Wednesday letters to pass retirement legislation before adjourning.

The officials told House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as well as to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ala., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., that they “have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass legislation that would benefit millions of Americans. The time has come for Congress to pass retirement security legislation now.”

Brady’s retooled version of his Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018 and the Taxpayer First Act of 2018 includes a new retirement-related provision expanding the use of 529 savings accounts to cover homeschooling costs as well as allowing an unborn child to be designated as a beneficiary.

The revised bill also provides “Obamacare tax relief,” Brady said, by delaying the Medical Device Tax for five years, the Health Insurance Tax for two years, the Cadillac Tax for one year and permanently repealing the Tanning Tax.

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