Senate Passes Revised Pension Liability Calculator

The Senate on January 28, 2004, passed the Pension Stability bill (H.R. 3108) by a vote of 86 to 9. 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. The new rate would be based on an average of corporate bond rates. Also included in the legislation were some provisions providing contribution relief to underfunded single-employers plans in the airline and steel industries, and to multiemployer plans. The bill also would permit the transfer of excess pension assets to retiree health accounts. The House passed similar legislation on October 8, 2003, with respect to the liability calculator, but the House bill does not include the contribution relief provisions. The bill now moves to conference to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions. The Administration has stated its strong opposition to the contribution relief provisions included in the Senate bill.


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