Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., and Rep. Barbara B. Kennelly, D-Conn., last month reintroduced the Comprehensive Women's Pension Protection Act, a grab-bag of provisions aimed at ensuring divorced women receive their share of pension benefits and preventing employers from scaling back benefits for older employees to reflect the Social Security benefits they are receiving.
The bill, an expanded version of similar legislation introduced last year, also includes a provision that would limit companies from investing more than 10% of employees' 401(k) dollars in company stock, unless the employees choose to do so.
Other key provisions of the legislation are:
Ensuring conglomerates provide all employees within a business with minimum pension coverage if they offer pensions to employees in other businesses.
Ensuring women are automatically entitled to half of the pensions earned by their ex-spouses during the years they were married. The provision, based on the continuation of health care benefits provided divorced spouses, would require the employee to notify his employer of the divorce; the spouse would then have 60 days to file for pension benefits.
Allowing women divorced before 1985 to apply for a share of their ex-husband's pension benefits earned during the marriage; and
Requiring small businesses with fewer than 100 participants to provide annual reports of 401(k) plan investments.