Legislation to help struggling multiemployer pension funds is to be introduced Thursday in the House and could be headed for passage if bundled with a COVID-19 relief measure now before Congress.
The proposal also calls for some funding relief for single employer plans through extended amortization periods and pension interest rate smoothing changes.
The proposed Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 is based on similar multiemployer pension reform legislation proposed in the last session of Congress as part of the House-passed Heroes Act. It does not include a controversial provision that would have allowed for new composite plans that called for investment risk sharing with plan participants.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., said in a statement that it was the first bill he introduced in the new 117th Congress in part "because the COVID-19 economic downturn has only worsened the multiemployer pension crisis and increased the urgency with which we must act to help folks whose financial security is at risk."