WRNJ: House unanimously passes Gottheimer’s bipartisan bill to fight back against senior financial scams

Bipartisan, bicameral Senior Security Act will create new SEC taskforce to combat fraud against seniors

Jun 06, 2023
In the News

By Jay Edwards

Read more from WRNJ: House unanimously passes Gottheimer’s bipartisan bill to fight back against senior financial scams

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer’s bipartisan Senior Security Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives.

Gottheimer’s legislation will help stop financial predators from scamming seniors out of their savings by creating a federal Senior Investor Task Force within the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to strengthen protections and safeguards for senior investors.

Gottheimer spoke on the House floor this week to urge Members of the House to support his bipartisan bill.

Companion bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Susan Collins (R-ME).

“Unfortunately, far too many of our seniors have had their hard-earned retirement savings stolen right out from under them when a scammer calls or shows up at their door. Millions of seniors across the country, including my own mother, have been the victims of financial scams, and far too many have been cheated out of their retirement savings. It’s appalling, it’s offensive, and it’s unacceptable,” said Gottheimer, a member of the House Financial Services Committee. “Today, the House passed my bipartisan legislation to take senior fraud and scams head on, by helping the Securities and Exchange Commission and federal prosecutors crack down on senior-preying hucksters nationwide.”

Senior scams cost older Americans more than $36 billion a year, often hitting their retirement nest eggs. Senior scams have more than doubled since 2020. Unfortunately, only 1 in every 42 cases of elder exploitation actually gets reported.

H.R.2593 – the bipartisan Senior Security Act will establish the Senior Investor Taskforce at the SEC, which will:

  • Identify challenges that senior investors encounter, including problems associated with financial exploitation and cognitive decline;
  • Identify areas in which senior investors would benefit from changes at the Commission or the rules of self-regulatory organizations;
  • Coordinate, as appropriate, with other offices within the Commission and other taskforces that may be established within the Commission, self-regulatory organizations, and the Elder Justice Coordinating Council; and
  • Consult, as appropriate, with state securities and law enforcement authorities, state insurance regulators, and other federal agencies.

The Taskforce will submit a biennial report to Congress that includes:

  • Summary of recent trends and innovations that have impacted the investment landscape for senior investors;
  • Summary of initiatives that have concentrated on senior investors and industry practices related to senior investors;
  • Key observations, best practices, and areas needing improvement, involving senior investors identified during examinations, enforcement actions, and investor education outreach;
  • Summary of the most serious issues encountered by senior investors, including issues involving financial products and services; and
  • Recommendations for such changes to the rules or guidance of the Commission and self-regulatory organizations and such legislative actions to resolve problems encountered by senior investors.

Gottheimer’s bipartisan Senior Security Act is cosponsored by Representatives Ann Wagner (MO-2) and Mike Lawler (NY-17).

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