Congressman Christopher Murphy (D-CT) has introduced legislation in the House of Representatives to extend the amount of time military survivors have to invest their military death gratuities. This legislation, H.R. 6013, is the companion bill to S. 3234, which Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced in the Senate last month. 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. H.R.6013/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. This legislation gives survivors more time to decide how to invest their military death gratuities, providing some relief in an already difficult time. I commend Congressman Murphy for his unwavering support of military families, and I thank him for introducing this bill in the House of Representatives."
"At what could be the most difficult point in a family's life, we should give military survivors as much time as they need to make these important financial decisions," said Murphy. "It's the least we can do to honor the sacrifice that military families make. Decisions about the family's future shouldn't be rushed, and extending this deadline from one to three years may offer some real relief in a very difficult time. I'm confident that most members of Congress will agree, and I'm proud to work with Senator Blumenthal to move this measure through Congress and into law."
"When my husband was killed in action I was a day over 18. My world came to a screeching halt. I stumbled through the next year in a fog. Everything seemed pointless, as if I were looking in at it from a distance, moving in slow motion. You can't know until you've lost the love of your life, just how difficult it is to move forward in that first year," said Kathleen Blamire Cardona, President of the Connecticut Chapter of Gold Star Wives of America. "Thinking about investing for the future when your future has just been pulled out from under your feet is impossible. Our young men and women are facing this crisis today. And they are, many of them, just as young as I was. I urge you to let them grieve, get their feet back under them and take their time looking for their future by allowing them the three years to think about investments."