The House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday approved a pension reform package that would revamp funding rules, measure corporate pension liabilities along a simplified yield curve of interest rates linked to corporate bonds, and hike insurance premiums paid to the PBGC by $30 per participant for fully funded pension plans, from $19.
The package also has several defined contribution plan measures, including making permanent the 2001 tax law changes scheduled to expire in 2010 and dropping non-discrimination tests for companies that automatically enroll workers in their company-sponsored retirement plan.
The vote, 23-17, was along party lines with most Republicans voting in favor. The only exception was Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who voted against the legislation. The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.
The committee rejected a package of amendments offered by Democrats but accepted three amendments offered by Rep. Ben Cardin, D-Md., that would permit non-spousal beneficiaries to roll over benefits into an IRA in case of death of a participant; permit disabled Americans without wage income to set up IRAs, and to let the Saver's Tax Credit go directly into a retirement plan or IRA.
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, withdrew an amendment to the bill that would have confirmed the legality of cash balance pension plans retroactively after both Democrats and Republicans raised objections to it.