Chris Stephen from NRECA explains why we need your support for
HR 3596 – the Rightsizing Pension Premiums Act of 2017
Over 880 rural electric cooperatives participate in the defined-benefit “multiple-employer” pension plan sponsored by NRECA, covering over 56,000 employees in 47 states. Co-op employees are the backbone of our core mission to provide, safe, affordable, and reliable electricity. But rules designed for other types of pension plans were increasing volatility and cost pressures on participating cooperatives.
In 2014 Congress passed a law recognizing that – by our nature – we pose virtually no risk of default to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and yet we continue to pay insurance premiums as if we were such a risk. (See Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act of 2014 (Pub. L. No. 113-97) (“CSEC”). Current PBGC rules designed for “single-employer” for-profit companies inappropriately require us to divert scarce resources from our core mission.
We urge Congress to stop the PBGC from grossly overcharging charitable and rural cooperative “multiple-employer” defined benefit plans, by passing H.R. 3596, the “Rightsizing Pension Premiums Act of 2017,” led by Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Ron Kind (D-WI). In 2014 Congress recognized that – by our nature – we pose virtually no risk of default to the PBGC, yet we continue to pay premiums as if we were such a risk. (See Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act (Pub. L. No. 113-97) (“CSEC”).
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