Chairman's Mark Reflects Pension Compromise

March 15, 2002 ( - The pension protection bill passed overwhelmingly by the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday appears to be a work in progress - but already shows signs of compromise from the original proposal.

The chairman’s mark retains the original bill’s provision that allows workers to designate pretax dollars to obtain qualified retirement planning services.

Unfinished Business

The bill also picked up several provisions dropped from last year’s Portman/Cardin-sponsored pension overhaul package as part of its inclusion in EGTRRA, including:

  • providing defined benefit plan funding relief for companies engaged primarily in interurban or interstate passenger bus service
  • simplifying reporting requirements for smaller plans
  • directing the Treasury and Labor Departments to simplify reporting for plans with fewer than 25 participants
  • improving the Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System for voluntary plan correction under certain guidelines
  • providing for the exemption of state and local government plans from nondiscrimination and minimum participation rules
  • directing the Treasury Department to provide additional flexibility in nondiscrimination, coverage and line of business rules
  • Requiring plans to provide applicable distribution notices between 30 days and 180 days before the distribution date.

The provisions would generally take effect in 2003.