Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa., today asked for recommendations on what federal lawmakers can do to preserve defined benefit pension plans for public and Taft-Hartley employees.
At a hearing before Congress Joint Economic Committee, Mr. Casey expressed concern that the shift to defined contribution plans from defined benefit plans is adding substantially to the risk we are asking ordinary Americans to take.
He noted 33% of private-sector workers were covered by DB plans in 2005, vs. 88% in 1975.
At a minimum, we should ensure that the circumstances that led to the decline of defined benefit plans in the corporate world are not repeated in the public or Taft-Hartley sectors, Mr. Casey said.
Also at the hearing, William Pryor, chairman of the board of investments of the $41 billion Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, Pasadena, Calif., said DB plans provide local governments with an important tool for recruiting and retaining employees, according to a copy of his written testimony.
Sherrill Neff, a partner in the venture capital firm Quaker BioVentures, also testified that DB plans are a critical source of capital formation for both our industry and the start-up companies in which we invest, according to his written testimony.