Congress creates Joint Select Committee on Multi-Employer Pensions

Committee’s goal is to develop legislative solutions to pension plans’ funding issues

 

As part of the comprehensive budget bill passed on Feb. 9, Congress did not provide any funding to secure the pensions of retired miners and widows, or hundreds of thousands of other retirees across America. The issue was raised repeatedly in the negotiations, however the majority party would not agree to any level of funding to solve this problem at this time.

 

Instead, congressional leaders agreed to create a Joint Select Committee on Multi-employer Pensions, to address the looming insolvency of multiemployer plans like the UMWA’s 1974 Pension Fund.  Here’s how the Committee will work:

 

  • Party leaders will choose eight Senators and eight House members, evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, to serve on the committee.
  • Committee members must be selected by February 23, and the Committee must hold its first meeting by March 12.
  • The committee is required to make a report to Congress by the last week of November, 2018. If there is an agreement to take action, the Committee will draft and submit legislative language as part of that report.
  • Agreement to move forward will require at least five Democrats and five Republicans. Any bill they propose will go before the relevant committees in the House and the Senate, where it cannot be amended or voted down. The bills will get expedited votes in both chambers. There will be no amendments allowed.
  • The Committee will hold at least 5 meetings, of which at least three must be public hearings. The Committee is encouraged to hold at least one field hearing, away from Washington, D.C.

 

The selection of the members of the Committee will prove critical to its effectiveness. Check back here for more information, we will keep this page updated as events occur.