Business Groups Back PPA Pension Funding Rules Delay

November 5, 2007 ( - Eight business groups, including several players in the retirement services industry, have expressed their support for a measure delaying new pension funding rules for a year.

Receiving the legislative kudos were U.S. Representatives Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) and Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), co-sponsors of H.R. 3868, which would delay the funding rules in the Pension Protection Act (PPA) until January 1, 2009 (See  New Bill Would Delay PPA Pension Funding Provisions).

In their letter, the business groups said the extra time was sorely needed.

“The aging of American’s workforce, dramatic changes in accounting rules for pensions and other post-employment benefits, and the total assets invested in domestic pension plans today means that adequate planning for responsible funding has never been more acute,” according  to the letter . “Any error in compliance with tax law can have extremely grave consequences for the plan sponsor and possibly even for the plan participants. We want to comply with the law, but the dearth of guidance that has been published in final form will mean that plan sponsors and their actuaries will be forced to make ‘educated guesses’ in too many critical instances. Final regulations are needed before the new rules take effect.”

Signing the Pomeroy/Cantor letter were the:

  • American Benefits Council,
  • American Council of Life Insurers,
  • Association of Pension Professionals & Actuaries,
  • Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets,
  • The ERISA Industry Committee,
  • HR Policy Association,
  • Society for Human Resource Management, and
  • U. S. Chamber of Commerce

“We hope,” the letter concluded, “that your bill will be enacted into law this year.”

When the legislation was proposed, the lawmakers said the delay would better allow regulators to gather public comment and issue the required enabling guidance on putting the funding rules in place.