The sweep of the pension reforms adopted as part of the federal government's spending bill passed by the House left a lot of interested parties surprised.

Most of the industry insiders familiar with the extent of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s multiemployer plan deficit expected Congress to do no more than extend provisions of the 2006 Pension Protection Act affecting underfunded plans. 

Few expected lawmakers to go as far as they did, nor to act as soon as they did. Highly controversial issues such as PBGC premium increases and the power to suspend benefits would be considered by the next Congress – or so many presumed.

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Nick Thornton

Nick Thornton is a financial writer covering retirement and health care issues for BenefitsPRO and ALM Media. He greatly enjoys learning from the vast minds in the legal, academic, advisory and money management communities when covering the retirement space. He's also written on international marketing trends, financial institution risk management, defense and energy issues, the restaurant industry in New York City, surfing, cigars, rum, travel, and fishing. When not writing, he's pushing into some land or water.