The Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee today passed ``The ERISA Clarification Act of 1995,'' which would allow the Labor Department to exempt federal pension law from applying to certain pension assets held in insurance companies' general accounts. The bill would clear up the confusion over a Supreme Court decision that said the assets are subject to ERISA, voiding an earlier Labor Department ruling. Before taking a vote, committee Chairwoman Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., introduced an amendment that would ensure the Labor Department's guidance is not contrary to the interests of employee benefit plans and their participants. The bill passed with that amendment.
Meanwhile, several House members probed panelists' support for the legislation at a hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations today. While most showed support, Rep. Harris Fawell, R-Ill., chairman of the subcommittee, was concerned Congress would be delegating too much authority to the Labor Department.