A top Treasury Department executive on Monday was mum on whether the Obama administration will intervene in a dispute among House Democrats that has stymied funding relief legislation for defined benefit plan sponsors.
“We (Obama administration executives) are in favor of getting legislation enacted promptly to provide targeted relief,” J. Mark Iwry, deputy assistant Treasury secretary for retirement and health policy, said at a conference hosted by MetLife in Washington. However, Mr. Iwry would not say whether the administration will provide further guidance to House Democrats on what to include in the legislation.
Mr. Iwry said the targeted relief that the administration supports would limit relief to the DB plan sponsors that really need relief, but he declined to provide any additional details.
House Democrats have been unable to agree on what provisions to include in the legislation to provide funding relief. Lobbyists for pension funds want the Obama administration to take its own position on the various legislative proposals.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner during a Feb. 3 hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee publicly endorsed providing targeted relief to pension plan sponsors.
Also at the MetLife conference, Michael Davis, deputy assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, said the DOL would issue additional guidance soon on what questions defined contribution plan fiduciaries should be asking before deciding which target-date funds to offer in their plans and what sorts of information plan sponsors should be giving participants about those funds.
“We're very close,” Mr. Davis said.