The Friday deadline to come up with a solution to help struggling multiemployer pension funds will not be met, but talks will continue, negotiators said Thursday.
Ohio Sens. Rob Portman, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement that the bicameral bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans has made "significant progress" but needs more time.
"Without action, the multiemployer pension system will collapse," said Mr. Portman, who called that an unacceptable outcome. "I will continue to work with my bipartisan colleagues until we solve this pension crisis once and for all."
Mr. Brown, in the same statement, said that "with more time, a bipartisan agreement is achievable."
Groups representing multiemployer plan participants and employers were somewhat encouraged by the delay. Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions, noted a draft proposal would have been extremely harmful to plans, participants and employers, and as talks continue, "Congress is much more educated on the issues impacting multiemployer pensions" and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., whose multiemployer program faces insolvency by 2025.