Senate OKs Pension Funding Relief Provision

June 18, 2010 ( – The U.S Senate has approved a measure granting pension funding relief after provisions granting the relief were attached to a broader bill dealing with Medicare payments to doctors.

Business Insurance reported that the pension provisions were grafted onto H.R. 3962, the Medicare bill, after a tax bill to which the pension funding provisions had been previously attached stalled out when Democrats were unable to muster enough votes to stop floor debate.

According to the news report, the measure approved in the Senate provides two alternative funding mandates – amortizing funding shortfalls over 15 years for any two plan years between 2008 and 2011 or paying interest on a funding shortfall for only two plan years that employers choose.

However, employers adopting either alternative would have to contribute extra money if they paid “excess” employee compensation or “extraordinary” compensation.

Business Insurance said the bill is likely to get taken up in the House of Representatives next week.