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Union To Support Defined Benefit Plan Proposal

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Sponsors of a major pension reform bill have reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers. [@@]

U.S. House Education & the Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Ways & Means Committee Chairman William Thomas, R-Calif., announced their agreement with the union Tuesday.

The committee chairmen have agreed to change provisions in H.R. 2830, the Pension Protection Act, that deal with transition rules governing benefit restrictions and shutdown benefits.

“We have been working with a large group of stakeholders, including our House colleagues and a coalition of employer and labor groups to put together a bipartisan bill in the best interests of workers, retirees, and taxpayers,” Boehner and Thomas say in a joint statement. “This morning, we reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers that will secure their active support for House passage of the Pension Protection Act.”

The bill would protect defined benefit pension plans by requiring more accurate measures of funding and increased disclosure of funding levels, sponsors say.

The changes made to win UAW support will have only a modest effect on the bill and should increase the odds that the House will pass the bill before Congress adjourns, Boehner and Thomas say.