Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth Jr., R-Del., is working behind the scenes with the Clinton administration to include targeted retirement savings incentives for low-income workers in a Senate version of the comprehensive pension package that passed the House last month.
Mr. Roth's overture is meant to ensure support from Democrats in the Senate and to send President Clinton legislation that he will be less likely to veto. The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to debate the bill on Sept. 7.
At the same time, Mr. Roth is pressuring the Clinton administration on issues related to the conversion of traditional pension plans into cash balance plans.
In a letter to Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers late last month Mr. Roth asked how the administration would like to deal with wearaways, in which employees earn no new pension benefits for an extended period of time after their companies convert traditional pension plans into cash balance plans.
The administration had expressed concern that H.R. 1102, the comprehensive retirement package that passed the House on July 19, did not give workers enough information about changes in their pension plans that could result in benefit cuts, or address wearaways.
"I want specific legislative proposals" no later than Aug. 21, Mr. Roth wrote Mr. Summers.
"This will give my staff and me time to examine your proposed legislative language" so it can be considered for inclusion in the Senate version of the comprehensive pension bill, he wrote.