Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, asked Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers in a letter this week to provide lawmakers with draft legislation on cash balance plans before the current congressional session winds down. We have been waiting for the Treasury Department to give us their views on cash balance plans for over a year now, Mr. Grassley said at a hearing on cash balance plans. The people at the Treasury Department are practically the smartest people in Washington, so I dont understand why it has to take over a year to tell us what they think about cash-balance plan conversions.
However, Mr. Grassley urged lawmakers not to rush to introduce legislation to fix ostensible problems with cash balance plans lest their well-meaning actions cause employers to shut down pension plans entirely. The action we take has to be fair to both current and future employees, he said.