FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Information Contact:
A.J. (Jim) Norby
National Retiree Group Applauds Senate Passage
Of Pension Security and Transparency Act
(WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2005) – Officials of the National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) applauded the Senate’s approval of S. 1783, the Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005, designed to shore up the nation’s private pension system. The NRLN is a non-partisan, grass roots coalition of retiree organizations dedicated to protecting the pension and health benefits of their members.
“The Senate is to be commended for its bipartisan passage of this important legislation,” said NRLN President Jim Norby. “Many of our nearly two-million members have been writing letters to their Senators urging their support for this comprehensive pension reform legislation. We’re thankful the Senators got the message.”
“We are pleased that the Senate has been the leader in this step toward providing millions of America’s workers and retirees with the help needed to secure the pensions they have earned through their years of labor,” Norby noted. “As work commences to reconcile the House and Senate bills we hope the outcome will be bipartisan legislation that will truly protect retirees’ pensions. We need legislation passed by both the House and Senate and signed by the President before the end of the year.”
The bill’s passage by a 97-2 vote followed news of a $22.8 billion deficit reported by the federally backed insurer of defined benefit pension funds – the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC). Recent years have seen a surge of financially troubled companies in the airlines and steel industries shifting their pension liabilities to the PBGC. The executive director of that agency has called for comprehensive pension reform to provide his agency with additional resources.
“In the absence of comprehensive, meaningful pension and health care reform legislation, the worst case scenario could be a loss of retirement security for millions of working class Americans and a taxpayer-funded bailout of the PBGC,” Norby added.
Based in Washington, D.C., NRLN is dedicated to securing federal legislation that will guarantee the fair and equitable treatment of retirees in private and public sector health and pension programs. NRLN represents a non-partisan, grassroots coalition of retiree associations with a combined membership of nearly 2 million men and women who are seeking to protect their pension and health care benefits. For more information, visit the NRLN Web site at www.nrln.org.