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Ways and Means Chair Wants Pension Relief in Next Stimulus Package

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., is pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to include legislation to shore up multiemployer pension plans in the next stimulus bill.

“The COVID-19 economic downturn has only worsened the multiemployer pension crisis and increased the urgency with which we must act to help folks whose financial security is at risk,” Neal said in a statement Thursday.

The Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021, which Neal introduced last week, intended to address “the worsening multiemployer pension crisis that threatens the savings of more than a million American workers and retirees,” is a standalone version of a provision from the House-passed Heroes Act, he explained.

“The workers and retirees enrolled in these failing plans did everything right  they put away money year after year to save for their futures, even forgoing pay raises to do so,” Neal said.

“I’m committed to getting a solution to this crisis signed into law as quickly as possible, and have even urged Speaker Pelosi to include a multiemployer fix in the next COVID relief legislation the House considers,” he added.

Pelosi said during her press conference last week that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., has announced that the House “won’t be back into session until the beginning of February.”

Pelosi stated, however, “committee work” will resume the week of Jan. 25, and the House will be “completely ready to go to the floor” with a COVID relief bill once back in session.

The Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 is a standalone version of a provision from the House-passed Heroes Act. In 2019, the Ways and Means Committee and the full House both passed Neal’s Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, also known as the Butch Lewis Act.