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A measure sponsored by Assembly members Celeste Riley, John Burzichelli and Gordon Johnson that would help seniors and the disabled save more money for retirement is making its way towards the Governor’s desk with the full Assembly granting approval on Monday and the Senate expected to do so later in the day.

“The recession has decimated many people’s 401k’s and other investments,” said Riley (D-Salem/Cumberland/Gloucester). “This measure would help provide a little more peace of mind for those in retirement who are worried about being able to get by.”

The bill (A-3398/S-2345), approved by a vote of 65-3-8 in the Assembly, would expand the exclusion under the gross income tax for pensions, annuities and certain other retirement income for qualified taxpayers.

“This bill will help our most vulnerable plan and save for retirement,” said Burzichelli (D-Salem/Cumberland/Gloucester). “For many who have been ravaged by this economy, this extra help in saving is not an added luxury but a necessity.”

“Seniors, particularly those on fixed incomes, have been squeezed hard by this economy,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “This is a simple way to help them get by further on the same income.”

At present, qualified taxpayers who are at least 62 years of age or disabled and who are eligible to receive social security payments and make $100,000 or less in annual gross income may exclude $20,000, $15,000 or $10,000 of various pension, annuity and retirement benefit income, depending on their tax filing status (i.e. joint, single and separate).

The measure approved today would expand the exclusion by removing the $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 caps, and providing full exclusions for qualified taxpayers with gross incomes less than $100,000. The bill also would provide new limited exclusions for qualified taxpayers with incomes between $100,000 and $110,000. With this new exclusion, the excluded amount would reduce in proportion to the amount of the taxpayer’s gross income that is above $100,000.