Great Deception Discovered In Senate Pension Reform Bill
From Jim Norby, NRLN President - December 14, 2005
A great deception has been perpetrated by a few Senators against America’s workers and retirees that makes a mockery of our legislative system. Your help is needed to rectify the situation by immediately writing to your U.S. Senator.
As you know, the National Retiree Legislative Network supported S. 1783, the Pension Security and Transparency Act, that was passed in the Senate on a 97-2 vote on November 16, 2005. This week one of our Washington, DC staff members received a tip there was language slipped into the bill at the last minute that has not been publicly disclosed. This was done by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, and possibly with the knowledge of a few other Senators. The stealth provision would lower the 125 percent funded threshold for Section 420 transfers to 115 percent. This would allow corporations to raid pension funds much sooner and weaken funding for pension plans rather than strengthen the plans.
Please write to your two Senators to express your outrage over the dramatic reduction in pension protection for plan participants that undermines the basic premise of the legislation. This happened without either public notice or hearing. Ask your Senator to remove the injurious provision when the Senate and House bills go into a joint conference committee expected early in 2006. Also, while your Senators are in your state for their holiday break pay them a visit at their office or give them a call to voice your outrage.
A sample letter has been provided for your use on the NRLN Capwiz page. To access the sample letter please go to http://capwiz.com/abtr/home and look for the ACTION ALERT box. Then click on the CLICK HERE following the notice that states: SENATORS MUST ELIMINATE INJURIOUS PROVISION SLIPPED INTO SENATE’S PENSION REFORM BILL. Your computer screen will then display the graphic ALERT TAKE ACTION NOW.
As you scroll down you will see Step 1 to Compose Message where the Sample Letter is provided. You must click on the Issues Area. Since the Congressional Web Form does not provide a “pensions” option, select the “senior citizens” option provided. After you read and make any edits to the letter your Sender Information is requested in Step 2. When you type in your state that will identify the Senators your letter will be emailed to in Washington. Also in this section you can also identify your NRLN Association affiliation. Or you can scroll to the bottom of the drop down list and click on the “--” to leave it blank.
If you have an access problem using the link shown above, go to the NRLN Website at http://www.nrln.org and type your zip code in the WRITE TO CONGRESS box. That will take you to the letter option for SENATORS MUST ELIMINATE INJURIOUS PROVISION SLIPPED INTO SENATE’S PENSION REFORM BILL.
Please edit the letter to express your personal opinions. Personal content in the letter will increase the likelihood a Senate staff member will pass your letter to the Senator to be read.
By writing to your Senators and requesting an appointment to talk with them, you will be making a statement that we will not tolerate this injustice against workers and retirees.