Source: James Young, Senior Director, Congressional Relations, HR, Labor and Safety, AGC of America
Among the flurry of week one Biden Administration executive actions and legislative maneuvering, House Democrats have released legislation to shore up the multiemployer pension system. The Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 includes previously considered multiemployer pension reform elements that includes the concept of a special partition program for eligible “critical and declining” plans. While the proposal avoids draconian funding rule changes or premium increases that have been debated in recent years, the bill DOES NOT include authorization of Composite Plans.
The legislation, in its current form, is highly unlikely to become law unless the US Senate makes significant changes to their filibuster rules due to its estimated $52 billion cost to the US Treasury. However, elements of the funding relief could be considered alongside a future COVID relief package without Republican support. To further confuse everybody, two versions of the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 were introduced with the only difference being how long plans would be eligible for partition relief:
|Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021, HR 423||Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021, HR 409|
|Press Release||Press Release|
AGC is pleased to see one of the first legislative proposals introduced in the new Congress addresses the multiemployer pension funding crisis and will continue to work with our labor partners and advocate for adoption of the Composite Plan design.