Watson Wyatt Worldwide is urging Congress to halt a renewed effort by the Department of Energy to stop reimbursing federal contractors for expenses associated with defined benefit pension coverage for new employees, according to a news release.
The Energy Department dropped a previous effort to implement the policy last year, following criticism from the public and federal lawmakers. But according to the news release, Energy Department officials have told contractors in recent weeks that the policy will be implemented.
We are very concerned that the DOE is attempting to implement this dangerous policy once again, Gene Wickes, Watson Wyatt global director of benefits consulting, said in the release.
Megan Barnett, an Energy Department spokeswoman, said the department was seeking comment on the plan and has not made a decision. Naturally, benefit consultants such as Watson Wyatt have a vested financial interest in this issue because they provide consulting services on traditional pension plans, Ms. Barnett said. We appreciate their comments and the comments of others as we seek to find ways to ensure the long-term stability of our contractor employees pension and medical benefits, while managing the long-term financial commitments of the department.