SMACNA continues its persistent work on Capitol Hill to move composite plan legislation forward. SMACNA’s goal is still to move the composite plan legislation forward before the end of the year.
The Senate-House negotiations to pass the 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill were hard fought and, unfortunately, the GROW Act was not included in the final bill passed by both houses in late March. SMACNA will keep pushing for its inclusion in other legislative vehicles before the end of the year. SMACNA thanks all those who took action on our behalf and sent letters to legislators on Capitol Hill. SMACNA will continue to be vigilant on this all-important issue and we ask that members continue to contact their members of Congress to help this issue move forward.
SMACNA, and the labor-management coalition addressing multiemployer retirement benefit systems, share a common purpose, to preserve and strengthen an unstable multiemployer retirement benefit system.
The Giving Retirement Options to Workers Act (GROW), H.R. 4997, was introduced by Reps. Phil Roe (R-1st-Tenn.) and Donald Norcross (D-1st-N.J.). Reps. Ryan Costello (R-6th-Pa.) and Frank Pallone (D-6th-N.J.) were recently added as cosponsors. The bipartisan effort is a legislative solution designed to protect retirement security for workers and provide greater certainty for employers participating in the system.
Joint Committee to address funding issues for PBGC. In related news, Congress recently passed the Budget Act, which included creation of a Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans. The Joint Committee’s goal is to find solutions for failing plans and to address funding issues for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The committee is made up of bi-partisan members of Congress who will bring a variety of views to achieving these goals. Congressional staff working with the committee know the multiemployer issue and will bring expertise to the process before the Nov. 30 legislative deadline for the committee’s final report.
SMACNA’s primary interest in the committee’s report will be in the PBGC insurance premium rates. Any rate increases need to reflect reality both in terms of need and effectiveness.
While the focus on failing plans continues, SMACNA’s message over the years has always been that enacting composite plans in no way hinders nor helps the process of dealing with those plans. In fact, SMACNA’s goal is to help ensure plan insolvencies become a thing of the past.
For information on the composite plan effort, members may visit SMACNA’s Advocacy webpage and contact Dana Thompson at SMACNA’s Capitol Hill office at (202) 547-8202.