NU Online News Service, Jan. 19, 2004, 10:46 a.m. EST – U.S. House Republicans are developing a major legislative proposal for strengthening the defined benefit pension system.[@@]
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, put out a release suggesting Republicans will focus on limiting employers’ abilities to promise pension benefits and resist efforts to funnel public support to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.
The PBGC, the government-sponsored company that backs U.S. defined benefit pensions, last week announced it had suffered a $7.6 billion net loss in fiscal year 2003.
The agency ended the year with a deficit of $11.2 billion, which is 3 times larger than any previously recorded PBGC deficit. The PBGC also estimated it has about $85.5 billion in exposure to possible losses related to unfunded, vested benefits in pension plans sponsored by struggling employers.