Last week, Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H. and Todd Young, R-Ind.Todd Young, R-Ind., introduced S. 4408, the Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act. The bill proposes to make two temporary changes to modernize employer-provided education assistance (Section 127): 1) increase the limit amount from $5,250 to $12,000 for the next two years, and 2) expand the benefit to cover the cost of education-related tools. For example, under the proposal, technology such as hand tools, construction equipment, computers and software, and other costs incurred by workers in completing their education programs would be allowed.
SHRM has long championed employer-provided education assistance. Upon introduction of the proposal, Emily M. Dickens, SHRM Chief of Staff & Head, Government Affairs, issued a statement saying, “The bipartisan Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act would make necessary temporary changes to modernize employer-provided education assistance to support and promote training and upskilling for American workers. This is instrumental in COVID-19 recovery efforts. SHRM supports strengthening and expanding this benefit and remains committed to a long-term solution.”
The Upskilling and Retraining Assistance Act is endorsed by the Coalition to Preserve Employer Provided Education Assistance, which is co-chaired by SHRM and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.