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House Passes Pension Legislation with Fix to Protect Workers' Pensions

Location: Washington, DC

House Passes Pension Legislation with Fix to Protect Workers' Pensions
December 15, 2005

Ryan Worked With UAW/GM to Fix Pension Bill, Obtain Crucial Deal to Give Employers such as GM and Auto Sector the Flexibility They Need to Fund Workers' Pension Plans

WASHINGTON - First District Congressman Paul Ryan today voted in favor of legislation - H.R. 2830, the Pension Protection Act - that contained changes he helped negotiate in order to correct shortcomings in the original version of the bill that would have jeopardized auto workers' pension benefits. Ryan worked together with the United Auto Workers (UAW), General Motors (GM), and the House Ways and Means and Education and the Workforce Committees to craft an agreement that addressed concerns about the Pension Protection Act. The UAW and GM have announced their support for H.R. 2830, which passed the House by a vote of 294-132.

Ryan has been working for months to fix several problems in this legislation, which he opposed when it came up for a vote in the House Ways and Means Committee in November.

"I represent tens of thousands of auto workers and retirees whose pension benefits would have been put at risk if this bill passed in its original form. Southern Wisconsin is home to thousands of good-paying auto-sector jobs that depend on the future health of GM and other auto companies. That is why I fought so hard to fix this legislation, so our employers can remain competitive and our workers can be more secure in their retirement benefits," Ryan said.

"I am pleased with the final version of this pension bill, which includes our changes to protect workers' pensions and allow our employers to continue to provide plant shutdown benefits to workers who are close to retirement in the unfortunate case of a plant shutdown," Ryan said. "As for the overall legislation, it is critical that we update our pension laws to make sure that the pension benefits workers have earned will be there for them when they retire and that employers have the flexibility they need to continue providing pension benefits."

Overall, the Pension Protection Act reforms outdated pension rules and takes steps to ensure that pension plans are well funded and help protect taxpayers from a costly bailout of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

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