The ERISA Industry Committee is lobbying Congress to delay implementation of corporate pension funding rules contained in both the House and Senate versions of the pension reform bill until Jan. 1, 2008, Janice Gregory, a senior vice president for the committee, said in an interview.
"The new funding requirements would kick in at the beginning of 2007, and for a calendar-year pension plan, that would be incredibly problematic," said Ms. Gregory. "We're doing a complete rewrite of the funding rules."
The funding requirements could change the way corporations could calculate a discount rate from the current mix of Treasuries and corporate bonds. Also contained in the different versions are proposals to shorten the number of years companies have to fully fund their pension plans. Contribution requirements would also be strengthened under the different bills.
When asked how the group's lobbying efforts are being received, Ms. Gregory said: "Well, they didn't call us crazy and didn't throw us out of the room. I think our proposal is being well received."