Pension Legislation Update


Aug 20, 2002
Administration Officials Attack Pension Relief
Pilots in the crosshairs as Senate considers crucial legislation

The Bush Administration has launched a last-ditch, all-out push to torpedo ALPA’s efforts to protect defined-benefit plans through legislation proposed by the Senate Finance Committee, commonly referred to as the Grassley/Baucus Bill.

In its latest salvo, the Administration had three cabinet members, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, Treasury Secretary John Snow and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), write to the leadership of the Senate to urge them to halt their efforts to pass Deficit Reduction Contribution (DRC) relief.

“These members of the Administration’s inner circle continue to grossly distort the facts about what is actually proposed in Grassley/Baucus,†commented ALPA’s president, Capt. Duane Woerth. The letter states, for example, that the bill by “Granting a three-year DRC funding holiday… would result in an additional $40 billion in plan underfunding….â€

“This is patently false,†Woerth continued, “and the Administration, including the PBGC, knows it is false.â€

In fact, as written the Grassley/Baucus bill does not waive all required pension contributions for three years. To the contrary, the relief being proposed will still require funding of active employees’ accrued benefits being earned during the period under both normal funding rules and under DRC rules.

ALPA, through the offices of the President and the Government Affairs Department, will be working closely with Senators Grassley, Baucus, Frist, and Daschle to support their ongoing efforts to help American workers save their pension plans – despite the objections and obstacles imposed by the Bush Administration through the PBGC. :down: