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WASHINGTON – The House has unanimously passed a bill to allow reservists and national guardsman called to active duty to make withdrawals from retirement accounts without penalty. The House members agreed to the Guardsmen and Reservists Financial Relief Act (H.R. 1779) by a vote of 415-0. The bill would permit military reservists or national guardsman on activite duty for more than 179 days to make penalty-free withdrawals from their retirement accounts. The legislation also provides for a two-year catch-up period after their tour to replace the funds. H.R. 1779 would be retroactive to Sept. 11, 2001. The bill is awaiting action in the Senate Finance Committee. During the House debate, Congressman Clay Shaw (R-Fla.) pointed out that 85,000 have been called to active duty since Sept. 11, many leaving behind better paying jobs.

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