While many seniors rely on Social Security for nearly all their retirement income, for others it is part but not all their retirement. Those seniors have investments they rely on to generate the income they need in their retirement years.
However, 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.
New legislation, called the “National Senior Investor Initiative Act” or “Senior Security Act” (H.R. 1565), was introduced earlier this month with two Democrats and two Republicans as cosponsors.
Bloomberg News reports that the legislation would establish a task force on older investors at the Securities and Exchange Commission. This Senior Investor Taskforce would be required to identify challenges such as the financial exploitation and cognitive decline of investors older than 65, and to consider whether rules issued by the SEC or securities self-regulatory organizations should be changed to benefit them.
The SEC chairman would appoint a director to lead the task force, which would include staff from several offices at the commission. Task force members would not receive additional compensation.
It would have to report to Congress every two years on regulatory and financial developments that affect older investors. Reports would have to include recommendations for possible regulatory or legislative action.
Within two years of enactment, the Government Accountability Office would report to Congress and the task force on the financial exploitation of older Americans, including the associated economic costs, contributing factors, unreported cases, and policy responses.