On July 10th, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to approve legislation (H.R. 397) to bolster multiemployer pensions plans at risk of insolvency, such as the Central States Pension Fund. The bill establishes a Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), a new Treasury Department agency, authorized to issue bonds in order to finance loans to “critical and declining” status multiemployer pension plans, plans that have suspended benefits, and some recently insolvent plans currently receiving financial assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
The legislation was approved by the House Education & Labor Committee back in June and is moving closer to vote on the full House floor. The bill’s language is very similar to the Butch Lewis Act, which was rejected by Republicans in the Senate last year. IWLA is closely following the House legislation in hopes that this will be the start of important negotiations between the House and Senate on a solution to the multiemployer crisis.