Senate Democrats are planning to introduce a jobs creation bill that pension industry officials said could include provisions for additional funding relief for defined benefit pension plans.
During an American Benefits Council teleconference today in Washington, James Klein, ABC president, said he believed the Senate bill would include the DB funding relief provisions and would be introduced later today.
“Pension funding relief will pass Congress and will pass Congress before April 1,” Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., sponsor of House pension funding relief legislation, added at the teleconference.
The specifics of the funding relief elements of the Senate bill were unclear, Mr. Pomeroy said.
A Senate aide with knowledge of the bill said Senate Democrats were still trying to work out a compromise with Senate Republicans over what should be included in the jobs bill, and it was unclear if funding relief provisions would be included. “It might be too early to say what’s in there given the focus on trying to get bipartisan support,” the aide said.
Spokesmen for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had not returned telephone calls for comment by press time.
ABC’s Mr. Klein said there was reason for “cautious optimism” on the part of pension plan sponsors.
“This (pension funding relief) is one area where there has been some emerging bipartisanship in an environment where that has not been a very common commodity,” Mr. Klein said.