WASHINGTON — Meaningful pension reform would make it more difficult for U.S. corporations to freeze their defined benefit plans in favor of defined contribution plans, said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.
Mr. Pomeroy, a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, said in an interview that the pension reform bill now being ironed out by both the House and the Senate isn't doing enough to help workers save for retirement. Mr. Pomeroy, who is often vocal on retirement issues, is not a member of the conference committee.
The current proposals "fall short of making a meaningful effort to ensure retirement benefits for workers by not encouraging corporations to keep offering defined benefit plans," he said. "And the White House is even worse. We had White House officials calling legislators in Alaska and encouraging them to freeze the state's defined benefit plan and switch to a defined contribution plan."
Last August, Alaska passed a law that puts new state workers into a new defined contribution plan and gives current workers the option of converting to the DC plan from the existing defined benefit plan. The law takes effect July 1.