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Boehner Removes Blackout Liability Provision

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NU Online News Service, April 1, 12:23 p.m. – Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, has removed a liability provision in H.R. 3762, a bill known as the Pension Security Act.

The bill, currently being debated in the House of Representatives, was drafted by the Bush administration and offered by Boehner, who is chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Boehner agreed to eliminate the liability provision change in a manager’s amendment during a recent full-committee mark-up of the bill.

The original provision would have explosed employers to the threat of lawsuits over losses incurred by employees during blackout periods, or periods when employees are unable to change investment choices while plans are changing recordkeepers.

Insurance and employer groups say the blackout periods are necessary to achieve orderly transitions. They said Boeher’s original liability would have caused many employers to back away from offering 401(k) retirement programs.