The Treasury Department did not violate any laws through a last-minute addition to the preamble of 1991 regulations that stated cash balance pension plans are not age discriminatory, a GAO investigation determined.
"We found nothing improper about the inclusion of the preamble sentence, Anthony H. Gamboa, general counsel for the GAO, wrote in a March 21 letter to Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who had ordered the investigation. However, Mr. Gamboa noted that the Treasury Department should not have expressed its opinion without first coordinating with the Labor Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
"The preamble sentence may have misled the public and practitioners into believing that the sentence reflected the coordinated views of all three of the responsible agencies. Moreover, the statement may have limited the other agencies policy options on this issue, Mr. Gamboa noted. He also stated that the EEOC disagreed with the GAOs conclusion that the Treasury Department did not violate the law by failing to coordinate with the agency that oversees non-discrimination.