From 2005 March

House Education and Workforce Chair Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) said yesterday that he expects bipartisan agreement on all the major issues of a pension reform bill that will have significant implications for the airlines.

Opponents of the White House proposal are calling some aspects "wrongheaded" and contend it will force more companies into bankruptcy. Boehner said even some of the plan's supporters are concerned about the White House language on yield curves and using credit ratings to assess risk-based insurance premiums.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) assumed $3 billion in claims from US Airways and could take on $6 billion from United if the airline is successful in convincing the bankruptcy court that it has to shed all its pension plans to reorganize. That could have a "domino effect" on other legacy carriers, PBGC Executive Director Bradley Belt testified. Other airline executives "have publicly stated that they would feel competitive pressure to shift their pension liabilities onto the government" if United succeeds, he said.

Belt added that the President's plan will enhance retirement security, do away with obsolete rules that discourage employers from paying into pension funds during economic upswings and give companies incentives over the long term to fund their pension plans adequately.

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Topics of Interest

House Education and Workforce Ranking Member Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would put a six-month halt on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s (PBGC) plan to terminate...

Pension reform that will alter the way airlines mold their plans is moving toward legislation, with key lawmakers on House Ways and Means and House Education and Workforce crafting a bill they hope...

President Bush's pension reform alternative is bad for all airlines with defined benefit plans, airline lobbyists said yesterday, and it could drive more carriers into bankruptcy and out of the...

The Bush Administration's recent proposal to overhaul the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the way it is funded will do little to help U.S. airlines and its unions and may even make it more...

The Bush Administration's recent proposal to overhaul the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) and the way it is funded will do little to help U.S. airlines and its unions and may even make it more...