Even though Congress was on vacation for several weeks, some notable bills were recently introduced in the last quarter:
The Automatic IRA Act of 2019 (in the “IRAs” section) would expand personal savings and retirement savings coverage by enabling employees not covered by qualifying retirement plans to save for retirement through automatic IRA arrangements. Exceptions would be made for small or new employers, as provided in the bill, as well as for church or governmental organizations.
A House concurrent resolution (in the “Multi-employer plans” section) would establish the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multi-Employer Pension Plans, which will provide recommendations and legislative language that will significantly improve the solvency of multi-employer pension plans (which are typically defined benefit pension plans for union employees) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
In our Winter 2019 edition of Washington Insights, we cited the dire situation faced by many US multiemployer pension plans. According to an actuarial study, as many as 1.3 million participants in US multiemployer pension plans are at risk of losing their benefits in the next 20 years. The reasons (and proposed solutions) for this problem differ dramatically, depending on your party affiliation. Even though there is some bipartisan interest in resolving this issue, the disparity among the offered proposals makes passage uncertain. Fall 2019 edition examines the controversy surrounding the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act.