Another Deadline Missed for Pension Reform Compromise

June 30, 2006 ( - Lawmakers said on Thursday they had not finished legislation to reform the US pension system and would miss the Independence Day deadline.

The conference committee set Congress’ Independence Day as the deadline after it missed the Memorial Day deadline (See Report: Memorial Day Now Current Pension Reform Deadline ). Representative Howard McKeon (R-California) said the next deadline would be in August, before Congress’ month-long recess, according to Reuters.

The committee made little progress on agreeing to guidelines for which pension plans were at risk of default, and set the issue aside to focus on others. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said members shifted their attention to relief for struggling airlines, the legal status of hybrid pensions known as “cash balance” plans, multi-employer plans, and rules on investment advice and prohibited transactions of pension assets, Reuters reports.

According to the news report, Boehner said the committee had not resolved any issues.

“If we make the progress that everybody hopes, we’re going to make our next deadline,”McKeon said, according to the news report.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has warned that a compromise will be more difficult to reach as election day in November approaches (See November Elections could be Pension Bill Monkey Wrench ).