The American Benefits Council today released its own pension plan reform proposal, calling on Congress and the Bush administration to make permanent the long-term investment-grade corporate bond rate now used to calculate pension liabilities. The proposal also calls for clarification of the legal status of cash balance plans, opposes the "mark to market" approach that would value assets on a spot basis, and requires that plan sponsors report the funded status of plans no later than 2 1/2 months after the end of each year.
James A. Klein, president of the organization representing corporate plan sponsors, wants to reverse the trend of corporations closing their defined benefit plans by alleviating the uncertainty around hybrid pension plans. "Legal uncertainty surrounding hybrid plans is inextricably linked not just to retirement security but also the financial health of the PBGC itself," he told reporters at a news conference. "There are an extraordinary set of circumstances creating uncertainty for employer sponsors of pension plans."