The Senate today passed, by a 85-9 vote, an economic stimulus package that includes a temporary fix for the problem created by the sharp decline in the 30-year Treasury bond interest rate. The provision identical to one in the stimulus package the House passed yesterday will permit employers to use 120% of the one-year weighted average of the 30-year T-bonds for determining funding levels, instead of the current 105% of the four-year weighted average. The provision lets plan sponsors use 100% of the 30-year T-bond rate in calculating its PBGC premium, instead of 85%. The changes, effective only through 2003, do not affect the interest rate employers must use to calculate lump sums.
The economic package could be sent to President Bush for his signature as early as Monday.