Pension Protection Act Redux?


 With the dust clearing on the recent mid-term elections, we thought it might be beneficial to speculate on what, if any, effects the Democratic takeover of Congress might have on the recently enacted Pension Protection Act. When the Act passed earlier this year, a number of key House Democrats voted against the Act, including Rep. George Miller (D), the likely chair of the 110th Congress’ House Committee on Education and the Workforce and Rep. Robert Andrews, the likely next chair of the House’s Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations. With their rejection of the bill, the committee and subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Act may move to re-address the issues that troubled them when the Act was passed. Such issues may include the Act’s provisions related to amendments to ERISA’s prohibited transaction provisions regarding the furnishing of investment advice to plan participants and beneficiaries, which when voting on the initial House version of the Act (H.R. 2830), Rep. Miller stated on behalf of the Democrats that several of the Act’s amendments did not provide enough protection for the private pension system. See Minority Views, H.R. 2830, “Pension Protection Act of 2005” (Sept. 21, 2005), http://edworkforce.house.gov/democrats/hr2830views.html. Although the Democrats have expressed a number of priority issues for the new Congress (like increasing the minimum wage and reforming No Child Left Behind), those Pension Protection Act issues that concerned the Democrats earlier this year may raise their heads yet again.