Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., the ranking minority member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee introduced legislation Monday requiring pension plan sponsors to provide plan participants and retirees with “critical information” about lump-sum buyouts — which she says are not protected and put less money in retirees’ pockets.
Murray’s Information Needed for Financial Options Risk Mitigation, or Inform, Act comes one year after the Trump administration reversed an Obama administration proposal that would have banned lump-sum payouts.
“No one should ever have to make a decision that could seriously affect their plans to securely retire without being given all the information they need to understand the consequences,” Murray said in a statement.
“While President Trump has made it clear he’s more concerned with companies’ profits than their workers, I’m fighting to make sure everyone who gets offered a buyout of the pensions they were promised and have earned, also gets the information they need to choose what’s best for their financial future.”
Murray noted a 2015 Government Accountability Office report, which found that companies were offering lump-sum buyouts to retirees without key information participants needed to make informed decisions. The Treasury Department at the time announced it would write new rules effectively ending these buyouts.