The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee voted 23-17 Wednesday to approve a major pension system reform bill.[@@]

The bill, H.R. 2830, already has been approved by the House Education and the Workforce Committee, and Ways and Means officials say they expect it to go the House floor.

Provisions in the bill would beef up funding rules for defined benefit pension plans and encourage employers to enroll employees in 401(k) plans automatically.

Rep. William Thomas, R-Calif., Ways and Means chairman, replaced the original version of the bill with an amended version.

A summary of the Thomas version is on the Web at