The House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Labor will reportedly consider and vote this week on H.R. 397, the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act, which was introduced in January by House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA). The legislation—also known as the Butch Lewis Act—is intended to address issues of insolvency common to a significant number of multiemployer (union) defined benefit pension plans. The bill as proposed would do the following.
- Establish a Pension Rehabilitation Administration within the Treasury Department, and a related trust fund to make loans to certain union pension plans that are in critical-and-declining status, or insolvent
- Enable the Treasury Department to issue bonds to fund the loans described above
- Appropriate to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) funds for additional assistance that some plans could qualify for beyond the above-described loans
Other House committees with jurisdiction over this legislation, which are also expected to consider it at some point, include Ways and Means, and Appropriations. The bill has 168 co-sponsors. There is no equivalent Senate bill introduced at this time.