Boehner, Johnson Will Introduce Pension Protection Bill

February 8, 2002 ( - House Education & the Workforce Chairman John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Employer-Employee Relations Subcommittee Chairman Sam Johnson (R-Texas) will introduce legislation proposed by President Bush to help to protect and strengthen retirement security for American workers.

‘We’ll be introducing the President’s proposal as the first step toward a consensus product that can be signed into law on behalf of America’s workers,’ Boehner said. ‘We need to ensure that workers are fully protected and fully equipped with the tools they need to protect and enhance their retirement savings.’

Last Friday the President endorsed the recommendations of a Task Force on Retirement Security, which he commissioned January 10, in the wake of the Enron debacle.

‘President Bush is right: ensuring retirement security for every American is essential. People who work and save for their whole lives deserve to retire with a golden egg, not a goose egg,’ said Johnson.

Boehner expressed optimism that common ground could be reached with Democrats, citing bipartisan support in Congress for reforms such as:

  • giving workers better information about their retirement savings
  • requiring that employees be notified 30 days prior to the start of any blackout period involving their 401(k) plans
  • clarifying that employers have a fiduciary responsibility for workers’ investments during a blackout period, and
  • precluding senior corporate executives from selling company stock at times when rank-and-file workers are unable to trade in their 401(k)s

Boehner also noted that many Democrats have declined to support placing arbitrary caps on the amount of company stock that can be held in an employee’s 401(k).

Boehner and Johnson announced their intentions during the second day of the committee’s hearings on the collapse of the Enron Corporation.

President Bush has also urged the Senate to act on the Retirement Security Advice Act (H.R. 2269) passed by the House last November.