President Clinton said he wants to reopen the full-scope audit legislation that died in Senate conference last year, but a bill to do just that already has been introduced.
Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., introduced the bill Jan. 21 that would require full-scope audits of pension plans. Now, auditors need not examine plan assets held in certain financial institutions already regulated by the federal government, such as banks and insurance companies.
Previous versions of the bill all have died. Last year, the bill passed the Senate as an amendment to the federal aviation bill, but died when the bill went to conference.
The president said the administration's bill would do three things: close current loopholes that permit the partial audits; require prompt reporting if some kind of criminal act is discovered; and require that only qualified professionals conduct full scope audits.
"It will address the fact that, today, more than $950 billion in pension plans assets are not meaningfully audited, leaving more than 22 million workers in the dark about the health of their pensions," the president said.
Clinton administration officials could not provide details, but on the surface, the president's requirements mirror Mr. Daschle's bill.