before the U.S. House of Representatives would extend a provision in prior
pension reform allowing over-funded pensions to use their excesses to fund
retiree health and life insurance benefits.
Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), passed in July 2012, included a provision extending the ability of employers to
transfer excess pension assets to fund retiree health benefits and expanding
the provision to allow transfers for retiree life insurance. H.R. 3038, the “Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2015,” would extend the time
period for using these excess assets from 2021 to 2025 to pay for retiree
medical accounts and retiree life insurance.
ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) issued a statement urging the House of
Representatives to pass the legislation this week. ERIC said that, for
companies with over-funded pension plans, the ability to use these excess
assets to pay for important retiree benefits is crucial to funding these
significant benefits. The retiree life
insurance benefit is particularly important for surviving spouses of workers
who have retired from a company.
ERIC President and
CEO Annette Guarisco Fildes said: “Companies see this provision as critical to
enabling them to offer vital health and life insurance benefits to their
retirees and surviving spouses. We urge the House to pass the highway bill with
this important protection for employee benefits.”