Congress Thursday approved the measure that will increase the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour over two years. The minimum wage increase was tacked onto the war funding bill.
According to HR News, t he wage increase will be done in three phases each raising the minimum wage 70 cents per hour. The bill calls for the first boost 60 days after the president signs the measure, and the other increases will follow a year apart to be completed by the summer of 2009.
The legislation also included $4.84 billion in small business tax breaks over 10 years to help compensate for the wage hike, according to the news reports.
Several pension and retirement-related provisions were also attached to the bill which will increase funding to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and extend the deadline for U.S. airlines to comply with the funding requirements of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA). Sources told HR News some pension-related amendments were technical corrections to the PPA, including one that would change the dates that businesses could elect or be considered to be part of a multi-employer pension plan, and another that altered the wording on how excess pension assets could be transferred to retiree health accounts.
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