November 16, 2005

Crapo Aids Pension Reform

Includes provision to overhaul package benefiting pension holders

Washington, DC â?? Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, won the inclusion of a major provision to reduce the regulatory and financial burdens on pension plans in the pension reform legislation that passed on the Senate floor today 97-2. Crapoâ??s provision would lift investment restrictions and could result in an increase in retirement income for those who belong to pension plans. Crapoâ??s provision, incorporated in the Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005 (S. 1783), provides a much-needed update to the Employee Retirement Security Income Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code by removing the dated prohibitions on several commonplace trading practices. Specifically, his provision provides relief for pension plan managers from restrictions on bonding, block trading, electronic trading, foreign exchange transactions, and time issues involved in trading. By lifting these restrictions, pension holders will be faced with fewer costs, which often translates to a higher, more secure pension payout. â??As the lines of separation between banking, insurance, and securities become increasingly intertwined, reform is necessary. By allowing diversification of investment opportunities and more efficient securities transactions we are enhancing returns for the participants in these plans and ensuring pension promises are kept,â?? Crapo said. â??ERISA has not been revisited for more than 30 years and Iâ??m pleased we are moving forward on this proposal. This provision will encourage greater participation by pension plans in the marketplace and provide more secure retirements for regular American citizens.â?? The Crapo provision has bipartisan support in the House and differences will be worked out in a bicameral conference.FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov in the Radio Links.