Miller Bill Gives Plan Sponsors Inside "Information"

March 8, 2002 ( - A new bill recently introduced in the House would require company executives to disclose insider stock sales to plan sponsors within 24 hours of the sale - and would require the plan administrator to notify employees in the pension plan immediately after the notice from executives.

The Insider Stock Sales Notification Act (H.R. 3840) is modeled on federal law requiring the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to be notified of insider sales, according to the bill’s author, Representative George Miller (D-California).  However, in addition to the additional disclosures within the company, the disclosures would be required in a much shorter timeframe than currently required by the SEC.

A similar provision is included in the Protecting America’s Pensions Act of 2002, (S. 1992) introduced March 6 by Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) (see Kennedy Introduces Democratic Pension Reform Bill ).

Cosponsors of Miller’s bill include House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and several Democratic members of the Education and the Workforce Committee.

Pension Protections

In January, Miller introduced H.R. 3657, the Employee Pension Freedom Act, one of a series of new proposals introduced in the wake of the Enron debacle to better protect worker’s retirement savings (see Pension Proposal Offers Participants ‘100% Control’ ). 

That bill would require that workers:

  • receive accurate financial information about their company
  • have equal representation on the pension administrative committee
  • have the right to sell company- matched stock after only one year

The bill would also require that executives with fiduciary responsibility for the pension plans be held accountable in the event they violate those responsibilities.

“If you require notification of insider sales to the pension plan and employees, and you combine that with accurate information about the financial condition of the company, representation on the board, the right to sell company stock, and stiff penalties for wrongdoing, we would greatly enhance the retirement security of tens of millions of Americans whose retirements are invested in the companies for which they work,” Miller said.