To the editor:
Congress demonstrated its callous disregard for retirement security by supporting laws to fund highway projects on the backs of retirees through an accounting trick known as “pension smoothing” in July. Sen. Kay Hagan voted for Amendment 3583 to strip this smoothing out of HR 5021, but Rep. Virginia Foxx voted to keep it in.
I like to know who’s voting for what I earned. It’s time for Congress to provide protections for retirees in the following areas: Stop corporations taking assets from pension plans to pay lump-sum severance and early retirement incentives. Amend the Employee Retirement Income Protection Act to maintain 120 percent funding. The Pension Benefits Guaranty Corp. should ensure equitable calculation of retiree benefits, as ERISA requires.
Corporations use pension de-risking to rob retirees of ERISA protections. Protections need to be re-imposed on outsourced pensions. Pension fund reports are inadequate — data is 15 months old — and need more detail. These and other suggested legislation are outlined in detail by the National Retiree Legislative Network on http://www.nrln.org/index.html under “Legislative.”