(Washington, DC) – Today, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced legislation to extend the amount of time military survivors have to invest their military death gratuities. Military survivors, upon the death of their service member, receive a military death gratuity. Currently, military survivors have one year from the receipt of their military death gratuities to decide to invest them in a Roth IRA, a Coverdell ESA, or both. This legislation, S. 3234, gives survivors up to three years to make this significant decision.
“Supporting military survivors must mean giving them the tools to make the right decisions for their families’ financial futures,” said Blumenthal. “I have heard from many surviving spouses and parents that one year is simply not enough time for them to make these significant investment decisions given their terrible grief. I am proud to introduce legislation to give survivors more time to decide how to invest their military death gratuities, providing some relief in an already difficult time.”
“Every military death is a tragedy. We owe our brave service members and their families a debt of gratitude for their selfless service and great sacrifice,” said Mikulski, a member of the Senate Military Family Caucus. “This legislation will make sure that military survivors have the tools and time they need to care for their families in the wake of such a tremendous loss.”
“The families of those brave servicemembers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation deserve the time they need to make sound decisions about their financial future,” Murray said. “This bill is a step in the right direction towards making sure that survivors have the flexibility and time they deserve in the wake of tragedy.”
“We need to give family members who have just suffered a tremendous loss the necessary time to make these life-changing decisions,” Tester said. “This bill gives survivors the flexibility they need to have all the options in front of them to consider their family’s long-term future.”
“We are happy to support this bill to extend the time period for contributing military death gratuities to Roth IRAs and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts from one year to three years. We are in complete agreement with the fact that this bill gives military survivors the time they need to make smart financial decisions after suffering a devastating loss, ensuring that they make the right choice for their future. American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. proudly stands with Gold Star Wives of America, Inc. in support of this bill,” said Norma Luther, National President of American Gold Star Mothers.
“Gold Star Wives of America would like to express thanks to Senator Blumenthal for introducing legislation to extend the time period for investing Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and the military death gratuity in a Roth IRA or Coverdell Education Savings Account. Surviving spouses are often not able or ready to make such a significant financial judgment within a year of the death of a spouse, and this legislation will extend that time period and allow them to make an informed decision,” said Gold Star Wives of America.
“The Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation wholeheartedly supports the legislation being introduced by Senator Blumenthal and his colleagues. As we plan on personally remembering another set of fallen heroes this Memorial Day, this legislation provides the additional assistance necessary to military spouses and parents,” said Mike Mastroni, Chairman and Founder of the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation, Inc.
The bill text can be found here: http://blumenthal.senate.gov/download/s-3234