Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee, yesterday introduced three bills that could modernize federal pension law.
The Retirement Security Advice Act, H.R. 4747, would let employers provide investment advice from regulated advisers, which would have to disclose fees and any likely conflicts of interest. The bill, with wide support from employer groups and the investment industry, is on a fast track and the subcommittee is likely to vote on it in early July.
The two other bills, the ERISA Modernization Act of 2000 and the Comprehensive ERISA Modernization Act of 2000, would liberalize the rules that place broad bans on transactions between pension plan sponsors, affiliated parties and investment advisers. It would redefine party in interest so that only those closely linked to pension funds would be barred from transactions that could be construed as self-dealing.
The legislation also would make it easier for the Labor Department to grant exemptions from bans implicit in ERISA.