On October 8, 2003, the House passed the Pension Funding Equity Bill of 2003 (HR 3108) by a 397 to 2 vote. The bill is designed to provide a replacement for the liability calculation based on 30-year Treasury bonds, since 30-year Treasury bonds are no longer being issued. For 2003, the calculation would still be based on 30-year Treasury bonds, but would provide a range of 90 percent to 120 percent of the interest rate on 30-year bonds maturing in 2031. For 2004 and 2005, the calculations would be based on a four-year average of conservative corporate bond rates. The bill would generally permit employers to lower their pension contributions and is also projected to be a revenue raiser for the government. Congress is expected to pass this or similar legislation by the end of the year.
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