President’s Forum 124 – Responses to Action Alerts Were Important

by Bill Kedereit

Responses to NRLN Action Alerts were important when members of Congress were working on the recently enacted American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic stimulus legislation.

Your letters in response to our February 13 Action Alert once again helped Senators and Representatives understand that the Time to Rescue United States Trust (TRUST) Act should be removed from the COVID-19 relief bill.

The NRLN opposes the TRUST Act which would create “rescue committees” for Social Security and Medicare. The committees would operate outside of the regular order of Congress, behind closed doors. The committees’ recommendations would be fast-tracked for votes in Congress on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.

This was the second time your letters opposed the TRUST Act being in COVID-19 legislation. Your responses to the July 30, 2020 NRLN Action Alert helped to get the TRUST Act removed the from the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act.

Letters in response to our March 1 Action Alert attempted to convince Senators to include in the COVID-19 bill an amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 420. The amendment would help protect healthcare and life insurance benefits for millions of retirees with a single employer defined benefit pension.

Although the amendment was not added to the bill, the NRLN will continue to work on having it included in pension legislation this year. By reducing the Section 420 surplus transfer limits from 120% and 125% to 110%, for “de minimis” transfers of not more than 1.75% of plan assets for a single or multi-year transfer, pension plan sponsors can use plan surplus to pay for healthcare and life insurance benefits. A single employer pension plan funded at 110% provides an ample cushion for market volatility.

I want to thank the NRLN members who responded to both Action Alerts. It is important to constantly tell members of Congress what actions should be taken to help retirees.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network

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