Congressman Earl Pomeroy is joining business leaders, includingthe American Benefits Council and the National Federation ofNurses, to call for temporary pension funding relief. In atelephonic press conference call last week, Pomeroy said it wasimperative for Congress to pass such legislation.

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"If left unaddressed, the issue of pension funding could throw aroadblock into our economic recovery," the North Dakota Democratsaid. "Pension funding relief would provide employers more cash onhand to save and create jobs and to inject into the economy, whilegiving workers enhanced job security and strengthened pension plansover the long-term."

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Pomeroy co-sponsored a bill along with Rep. Patrick Tiberi ofOhio that would temporarily extend the period employers fully fundtheir defined benefit pension plans. The "Preserve Benefits andJobs Act" would:

  • Allow a sponsor of a single-employer defined benefit pensionplan to elect in 2009 or 2010 extended amortization periods (9 or15 years) for investment losses incurred in prior years;
  • Allow an increase in the valuation range of plan assets;
  • Use the funded status of a plan in 2008 to determine benefitrestrictions in 2009 and 2010 and prohibit the use of creditbalances by pension plans that are under 80 percent funded in theprior year;
  • Exclude plan-related administrative expenses (includinginvestment expenses) from normal cost targets;
  • Delay the application of certain benefit restrictions tocollectively bargained plans until 2012; and
  • Require a 120 percent funding target for plans adopting ad hocamendments that allow lump sum benefits payments and increased planliabilities.

Clickhere to read the full text of the proposed bill. You can listento the press conference here.

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