On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, U.S. Congressmembers Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9) introduced The Senior Security Act, 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. Last Congress, the House Financial Services Committee passed the Senior Security Act 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,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “That’s why I am proud to reintroduce the Senior Security Act to help protect vulnerable seniors from predatory scams and financial abuse. New Jersey’s seniors have given us so much. I’ll always have their backs and ensure that they have the help they need to stay here, and to protect them from those who would seek to take advantage of them.”
“The Senior Security Act is a bipartisan effort to fight on behalf of our senior citizens and protect their life-long savings and investments from financial scammers,” said Congressman Trey Hollingsworth (IN-9).
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.
The Senior Security Act 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 two years of enactment, the U.S. Government Accountability Office will study and report on the economic costs of the financial exploitation of senior citizens.