05.27.10

Enzi: Piecemeal Pension Overhaul Simply a “House of Cards” for Retirees

Top Republican on HELP Committee Calls on Congress to Stop Enabling Pension Crisis

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, voiced his strong opposition to a piecemeal approach to a pension overhaul at a hearing today.

“Today’s hearing on our nation’s multiemployer pension system is very timely.  Many of our workers, retirees and their families have faced significant uncertainty with their financial matters over the last few years,” Enzi said. “Workers should not be burdened with wondering whether or not their pensions are secure.”

“We must come up with a plan to overhaul the multiemployer pension system. But we should not do it piecemeal with just a very small handful of companies. Otherwise, the system will end up a house of cards,” he added.

Enzi also stressed that any overhaul plan must be fully paid for and not add to the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation’s deficit. 

“Congress is an enabler to this situation because it would rather kick the can down the road than try to resolve the difficult problems today.  Instead of providing false hope to a few retirees, we must address this issue with the seriousness it deserves and overhaul the system.”

Enzi voiced strong concerns that oversight of the multiemployer pension system is inadequate and that fraud and mismanagement remain prevalent. During 2008 and 2009, multiemployer plans filed nearly 400 letters with the Department of Labor, indicating they were in endangered or critical financial status.

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