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INTRODUCTION OF A BILL TO AMEND TITLE IV OF THE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT INCOME SECURITY ACT OF 1974 TO PROVIDE FOR A GUARANTEE BY THE PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION FOR QUALIFIED PRERETIREMENT...
(Extensions of Remarks - June 20, 2012)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1093]
  INTRODUCTION OF A BILL TO AMEND TITLE IV OF THE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT 
 INCOME SECURITY ACT OF 1974 TO PROVIDE FOR A GUARANTEE BY THE PENSION 
   BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION FOR QUALIFIED PRERETIREMENT SURVIVOR 
  ANNUITIES UNDER INSOLVENT OR TERMINATED MULTIEMPLOYER PENSION PLANS

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. THOMAS E. PETRI

                              of wisconsin

                    in the house of representatives

                        Wednesday, June 20, 2012

  Mr. PETRI. Mr. Speaker, today I am introducing a bill to rectify an 
inequity regarding the benefits provided to surviving spouses through 
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). I am pleased to be 
joined by Rep. Rob Andrews in this effort.
  PBGC provides pre-retirement survivor coverage, which provides a 
benefit to the surviving spouse of a pension participant who dies 
before retirement. However, in the case of a multiemployer pension plan 
turned over to PBGC, this benefit is guaranteed only if the plan 
participant dies before the plan is turned over. For single-employer 
plans the benefit is guaranteed regardless of when the participant 
dies.
  The PBGC web site acknowledges this discrepancy, stating ``. . . For 
the most part, the PBGC guarantees the same type of benefits for 
multiemployer pension plans as for benefits in the single-employer 
program, with the exception that preretirement survivor annuities are 
forfeitable in multiemployer plans if the participant has not died as 
of the termination date.''
  The debate over how to best provide income security for older 
Americans will continue for some time. However, in the meantime, it is 
unconscionable that a widow or widower would be denied the modest 
benefits provided under the PBGC multiemployer plan simply because his 
or her spouse did not die before the plan was turned over to the PBGC.
  This discrepancy appears inadvertent and deserves to be corrected by 
Congress. I ask my colleagues for their support of this legislation so 
we can address this issue quickly.

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