Insular Areas and Freely Associated States Energy Developmentby Representative Peter T. King
Posted on 2014-12-11
KING of New York. Mr. Speaker, I would like to first thank the
Chairman and Ranking Democrat of the House Education and Workforce
Committee, Rep. John Kline and Rep. George Miller, for their efforts to
seek a bipartisan solution for the problems facing the nation's
multiemployer pension plans. I am very familiar with those problems,
having constituents who are both active workers and retirees who are
participants in those multiemployer plans.
The legislation being advanced today will allow Plan Trustees of these troubled plans to have additional tools to maintain the solvency of the plans. Specifically, the legislation will allow trustees to better align benefit levels to available resources; it will clarify that the PBGC has the ability to assist plans well before they reach insolvency; and finally, to facilitate plan mergers. Taken together, these initiatives will assist troubled plans in avoiding insolvency.
However, I do have a concern regarding the timeline for implementation of the new legislation. Some of these troubled plans need to move on with the needed benefit adjustments, along with the authority to merger and receive financial assistance from the PBGC, sooner rather than later. I would strongly urge the Treasury Department, along with the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation, to move quickly on implementation of this legislation. For some plans, time is not on their side.