Gottheimer, Hollingsworth Legislation to Protect Seniors from Financial Crimes and Scammers Passes House

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WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2018 | comments
Today, the Senior Security Act – introduced by Representatives Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-9) – passed the House of Representatives as part of the “JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018,” package. The Senior Security Act is a bipartisan bill that creates an interdivisional task force at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to strengthen protections and safeguards for senior citizens from financial crimes and scammers. The House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 6323 by a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

“Since I took office, I have been committed to helping seniors save their hard-earned money for retirement, so they can afford to stay in New Jersey and enjoy their lives with their kids and grandkids. The bipartisan Senior Security Act will stop financial predators from scamming seniors out of their savings,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).

“Unfortunately, our senior citizens who have spent years saving and investing are losing their life savings and investments to financial scammers,” said Representative Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9). “I’m fighting every day for our Hoosier senior citizens to ensure the hard-earned dollars they’ve invested in the public markets are protected and to fulfill the Social Security and Medicare promises we’ve made to them.”

“Every Arizonan who works hard and plays by the rules should be able to enjoy a secure retirement. Too often, financial abuse and exploitation threatens Arizona seniors’ financial future,” said Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema. “The Senior Security Act will help us work with seniors to protect their hard-earned retirement savings.”

Read the full text of the legislation here.

Background

According to a 2015 report, older Americans lose approximately $36.5 billion each year to financial scams and abuse, and these numbers are increasing as technology makes it easier for scammers to target older Americans. A 2016 survey from the Investor Protection Trust found that almost 1-in-5 seniors, approximately 7 million Americans, have reported being victims of exploitation.

H.R. 6323 creates an interdivisional task force at the SEC, composed of staff from the Division of Enforcement, Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations, and Office of Investor Education and Advocacy, to examine and identify challenges facing senior investors. Every two years, in consultation with other SEC offices, State securities and law enforcement authorities, State insurance regulators, and Federal agencies, the task force will report its findings to Congress and recommend any regulatory or statutory changes. Further, within one year of enactment, the U.S. Government Accountability Office will study and report on the economic costs of the financial exploitation of senior citizens.
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