Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted 15-5 today to approve a measure that could double guaranty fund premiums for defined benefit pension plans.[@@]

The measure, which does not yet have a bill number, would increase the basic annual premium rate for participation in the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. to $46.75 per plan participant, from $19 today.

The PBGC now has a $23 billion deficit.

Sen. Mike Enzi, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, said he believes Congress can avoid doubling PBGC premiums if lawmakers manage to pass comprehensive pension reform legislation.