Another coronavirus relief legislative package introduced Tuesday in the House has several retirement provisions, including some relief for multiemployer pension plans and the PBGC.
The legislation also provides more assistance for state and local governments.
House Democrats are promising a vote by Friday, but Senate action is far from assured, given the proposal's estimated $3 trillion price tag.
The proposed Heroes Act legislation includes several retirement provisions for multiemployer and single-employer retirement plans, in a section titled the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2020.
Single-employer plans would benefit from longer amortization periods of funding shortfalls to 15 years, from the current seven years. For pension fund interest rate smoothing, interest rates scheduled to start phasing out in 2021 within a 10% range would be delayed until 2026 with a 5% range, and a 5% floor to increase predictability of contributions.
Multiemployer pension plans get several areas of relief in the proposal, which notes that many of the 1.3 million participants in struggling pension plans cover workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. Rising unemployment and the market downturn related to the health crisis are further exacerbating the multiemployer pension plan crisis "and threatens to bankrupt the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, impose damaging liabilities on thousands of businesses, and devastate communities across the country," the bill reads.