Easter Seals Inc. is seeking legislation that would enable the Chicago-based charitable organization to take full advantage of a recently enacted law providing funding relief to pension plan sponsors.
Easter Seals played a prominent role in lobbying for the new law. But because it took effect after Easter Seals' contribution deadline for its 2008 plan year — May 15, 2010 — the organization was unable to stretch its amortization of losses for the 2008 plan year, said Dorothy Moser, vice president of human resources.
Under the new law, defined benefit plan sponsors are able to stretch out amortization periods for investment losses for two plan years between 2008 and 2011 over either a nine-year or 15-year period, at the option of the ponsor. The previous law required amortization of losses over seven years.
Ms. Moser said the inability to use the enhanced amortization for the 2008 plan year, which began Sept. 1, 2007, would require the sponsor of the $14.3 million plan to make about $1 million in additional plan contributions over two years.
It is asking Congress to make the effective date of the law retroactive to before May 15, Ms. Moser said. “Our whole focus is to provide services to people with disabilities and their families. Finding funds to be able to do that, rather than paying pension obligations, is our preference.”