A bipartisan congressional group asked Treasury Secretary Paul ONeill to push for a short-term alternative to the 30-year Treasury bond. A letter signed by Reps. Sam Johnson, R-Texas; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Ben Cardin, D-Md.; and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., asked Mr. ONeill and the Labor Department to recommend an actuarially acceptable alternative employers could use for the next two years, giving the Bush administration, lawmakers and pension plan sponsors time to agree on a suitable long-term replacement for the benchmark Treasury security.
The 30-year bond is used to calculate pension liabilities and the insurance premium pension plans must pay the PBGC. The Treasury Department on Oct. 31 announced plans to eliminate the benchmark 30-year T-bond.