Democratic lawmakers hope to increase the size of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. board and prod the PBGC board to meet more often.

The sponsors of the PBGC bill are Sens. Herb Kohl, D-Wis.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Russell Feingold, D-Wis.

No bill number was immediately available.

Kohl and the other sponsors have introduced the bill in response to concerns that the PBGC, the entity that insures defined benefit pension benefits, began to invest billions of dollars in program assets in stocks just before the stock market collapsed.

The sponsors also are responding to allegations that the previous head of the PBGC may have improperly influenced the investment procurement process; that the PBGC board now has only 3 members; and that the PBGC board has met only 20 times since 1980, and has had no meetings at all since February 2008.

The new bill would increase the number of PBGC board members to 7 and require the PBGC board to meet at least 4 times per year.

The bill also would give the PBGC advisory council, the PBGC inspector general, and the PBGC general counsel full and direct access to the PBGC board.

Another provision would require the PBGC director to refrain from getting involved in matters that could lead to potential conflicts of interest.