Employers Form Pro DB Lobbying Group

March 11, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than 50 employers with defined benefit plans have formed their own lobbying group to do publicity about the DB arrangements and to try to head off overly onerous regulations.

According to a news release, an early focus of the Coalition to Preserve the Defined Benefit System are the recently proposed age-discrimination regulations impacting a broad range of defined benefit plans. Ultimately, the announcement said, the group hopes to make the regulations more inclusive of varying defined benefit plan designs – particularly pension equity and cash balance plans (See  Balance Beam ).

The group also wants more design flexibility in the defined benefit system while protecting participants’ rights against age discrimination, the announcement said. The coalition hopes to achieve this goal through a comprehensive program of education, research, and direct advocacy. In recent weeks the group has begun talks with federal agencies and congressional policymakers and is preparing written comments for submission to the IRS this week.

Coalition members include: Alliant Techsystems, Inc.; Amerisure Mutual Insurance Company; Belden Inc.; BlueCross BlueShield of Minnesota; Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC); Caterpillar Inc.; Cooper Industries, Inc.; Cooper Tire & Rubber; Dial Corporation; The Dow Chemical Company; EDS; Fortis, Inc.; Fortune Brands, Inc.; Hughes Electronics; Illinois Tool Works Inc.; Memorial Hermann Health System; Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.; OGE Energy Corp; Philips Electronics North America Corporation; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc.; S&C Electric Company; Stora Enso North America Corp.; Wells Fargo & Company; and WPS Resources Corporation