House Set to Consider Pension Security Act

May 13, 2003 ( - The legislative stage has been set for a vote by the US House of Representatives on the Pension Security Act, a sweeping pension reform measure.

House Education & the Workforce Committee Chairman Representative John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Employer-Employee Relations Chairman Representative Sam Johnson (R-Texas)  co-authored the measure, HR 1000, which made it out of Boehner’s committee on a 29 to 19 vote (See  Pension Security Act Heads for House Floor).  

>The measure will give workers the ability to diversify their retirement savings within three years, expand worker access to investment advice, empower workers to hold company insiders accountable for abuses, and give workers better information about their pensions.

The latest version of the PSA largely mirrors the bill that was passed by the House last April. The House passed the Pension Security Act 255-163, with the support of 46 Democrats (See  Pension Protection Passes House ).  Efforts to put together a Senate version died before Congressional adjournment.

A group of Democratic lawmakers fired the first shot against the PSA Tuesday by accusing Republicans of pandering to special interests. “The GOP pension bill is just the latest in a series of bills that provides assistance to special corporate interests intended to win public approval rating without addressing the employment and retirement security needs of average Americans,” the Democrats said. “HR 1000 fails to protect average employees from corporate plans that overwhelmingly protect executives’ exorbitant pensions at the expensive of rank and file employees.”

Also pending before Congress is another sweeping pension reform measure, the Pension Preservation and Savings Expansion Act of 2003, sponsored by Representatives Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) (See Unfinished Business, Regulatory Relief Top Portman/Cardin Bill ).