WASHINGTON (TheStreet) — After months of being overshadowed by health care reform rancor, proponents of legislative relief for underfunded pension plans may soon get some good news.
On Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee released a draft of the jobs bill. The proposed legislation earmarks $6 billion for pension plans, many of which are staggering from market volatility and the losses of 2008.
Concurrently, the Preserve Benefits and Jobs Act introduced by Reps. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., and Patrick Tiberi, R-Ohio, in October is also gaining traction. This measure would likely go further than the final jobs bill by providing a temporary extension to the mandated time period employers have to fully fund their pension plans.
Barry Young, consulting actuary for Principal Financial Group
"One of the most significant aspects of the new funding rule is that it requires plan sponsors to fund unfunded liabilities more quickly than under the prior law," he says. "Unfortunately, just months after it became effective, we had the most significant market decline in 50 years. The timing could not have been less favorable. "