Multiemployer pension provisions in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 set to expire Dec. 31 would gain another year in a tax extension passed by the House Wednesday.
H.R. 5771, the “Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014,” which extends more than 50 expired business and individual tax breaks, has to be scheduled for a vote in the Senate, which does not have its own package, before Congress adjourns Dec. 11.
Provisions in the House bill would extend multiemployer pension plans’ ability to take an additional five years to amortize funding shortfalls in addition to a regular 15-year period, and extend through 2015 special rules for underfunded plans. Those rules created plan zones based on funding and require annual review and certification of a plan’s funded status. Unless funded 80% or better, plans are classified as either endangered (yellow zone) or critical (red zone, typical less than 65% funded) and must take specific corrective actions to improve funded status.
Proponents of multiemployer pension reform are still pushing for Congress to approve a more comprehensive package before it adjourns. A bipartisan statement from the House Education and Workforce Committee said that “members are still discussing the details about a possible legislative solution to the multiemployer pension crisis, and remain hopeful Congress will act before the end of the year. Any decisions regarding how a possible solution might move through the legislative process will be made by leadership at the appropriate time.”