Now that the excitement (or was that dread?) surrounding the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the constitutionality of the health care reform legislation has dissipated somewhat, it seems timely to talk a little about pensions. At long last, and after several stalled efforts, meaningful pension funding stabilization legislation was enacted this summer. Congress passed and President Obama signed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (one has to wonder who comes up with these names over in Congress). The act, also known as “MAP-21″, makes important changes to how the interest rates used in defined benefit pension plan … Continue Reading
Consideration of our country’s annual budget has begun. On Monday, February 13, 2012, President Barack Obama released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2013 (which starts on October 1, 2012). While Democrats predictably praised Obama’s firm leadership, Republicans rushed to microphones to try to say “dead on arrival” in as many different ways as possible. In other words, Congress is starting just where they left off last year—and we know how that ended up.
Under the proposed budget, the President projects spending outlays of $3,803 trillion and revenue of $2,902 trillion in 2013 fiscal year, with a resulting deficit of … Continue Reading
On Monday, August 8, 2011, United States Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath ruled that Harry & David Holdings Inc. the Oregon-based gourmet food and gift company, can terminate its pension plan as part of a pre-arranged bankruptcy plan and emerge from bankruptcy free of its accumulated pension liability. The company convinced the court that it had to terminate the plan in order to successfully emerge from bankruptcy. The court permitted the termination despite the objections of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the”PBGC”), which argued that the company could afford to keep the plan and that the termination really was being … Continue Reading