BENEFITS BYTE

April 7, 2004
BB 04—44

Senate to Vote on Pension Bill Thursday, Democrats Unlikely to Filibuster

The Senate could soon be prepared to vote on the conference report of the Pension Funding Equity Act (H.R. 3108) before adjourning for the holidays. The conference report of H.R. 3108, which was approved by the House of Representatives in a 336-69 vote on April 2, contains a two-year replacement of the defunct 30-year Treasury bond rate with a composite rate based on long-term corporate bonds for purposes of calculating plan liabilities and any Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation variable rate premiums.

News reports from Capitol Hill suggest that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) will oppose a filibuster of the pension bill, H.R. 3108, the Pension Funding Equity Act. A unanimous consent request is being circulated through the Democratic and Republican offices this afternoon. Debate could begin sometime after 10:30 a.m. on April 8. The request would provide for four hours of debate on the bill, evenly divided between the Republican and Democratic Senators. If there is no objection to the request, the Senate could vote on the bill after debate.

If Senators in whose states you have operations have not heard from you, now is the time to contact them and urge their support. For more information, contact Diann Howland, Council vice president, retirement policy, at (202) 289-6700.

For more information, contact Jan Jacobson, Council director, retirement policy, at 202-289-6700.

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.