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Senior Security Protections Receive Huge Support in Washington

By Alex Padalka May 2, 2019

With a vote of 392 to 20, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senior Security Act, aimed at safeguarding seniors against financial abuse, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., one of the co-sponsors of the bill, says.

The bill would set up a senior investor task force at the SEC, which would be responsible for identifying challenges facing senior investors and areas where the commission or self-regulatory bodies could step in, according to a press release from Gottheimer, who introduced the bill with Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind.

In addition, the task force would, when appropriate, consult with state securities and insurance regulators, law enforcement and other federal agencies, according to the bill.

The task force would also provide Congress with a biannual report on its findings, initiatives and recommendations under the act, which is supported by Sifma and the North American Securities Administrators Association, according to the bill.

Senior Americans lose around $3 billion annually to financial fraud and abuse, according to a recent report from the Senate Special Committee on Aging cited by Gottheimer’s office. In his press release, Gottheimer says that his own mother has been a victim of financial exploitation.

The Treasury Department says that U.S. banks last year reported a record 24,454 suspected cases of senior financial abuse, which is more than double the cases just five years earlier, according to the press release.

“Our county’s senior citizens have spent years working and saving for retirement. As financial abuse of seniors has hit a record high, this legislation is an important step in fighting for our seniors and helping them protect their hard-earned, life-long savings,” Hollingsworth says in the press release.