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Kline Releases Discussion Draft to Modernize Multiemployer Pensions

Proposal would provide a new retirement option that protects workers, employers, retirees, and taxpayers

Rep. John Kline (R-MN), chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, today unveiled a discussion draft of a proposal to modernize the nation’s multiemployer pension system. Part of the committee’s ongoing efforts to strengthen retirement security, the proposal follows years of bipartisan work led by a coalition of business and labor leaders and would provide workers a new option to save for retirement by authorizing an innovative multiemployer plan structure known as “composite plans.”

The draft reflects input from employers, worker representatives, and retiree advocates. The committee is requesting public feedback on the proposal. Additionally, the committee is interested in receiving ideas for reforms to improve the long-term fiscal health of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). After releasing the discussion draft, Chairman Kline said:

For years, the committee has worked on a bipartisan basis to improve multiemployer pensions and safeguard the retirement security of workers and retirees. We have already made significant progress, and the draft proposal released today represents the next step in this important effort.

This proposal will provide more retirement choices for workers, more flexibility for employers, and greater protection for taxpayers. It reflects the input of business and labor leaders
, as well as retiree advocates who have long recognized the need to strengthen retirement security. I encourage other concerned individuals to share their views and ideas.

There is still a lot of work to be done, including tackling the fiscal challenges facing the PBGC. Improving the multiemployer pension system is an urgent priority for employers and labor leaders that will benefit America’s workers and taxpayers. I hope my colleagues in the House and Senate will make it an urgent priority as well.


Over 10 million individuals rely on multiemployer defined benefit pension plans. These plans are created by collective bargaining agreements and sponsored by multiple employers. Unfortunately, many of these plans face pervasive funding challenges that pose risks to employers, workers, retirees, and taxpayers. Additionally, the federal backstop to the defined benefit pension system—the PBGC—is on a path toward insolvency.

To help address these challenges, in 2013, a coalition of unions and employers led by the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) proposed a consensus set of policy recommendations to strengthen the multiemployer pension system. Many of these recommendations were enacted when President Obama signed into law the bipartisan Multiemployer Pension Reform Act. However, Congress did not adopt reforms at that time to modernize multiemployer pensions through the creation of a new composite plan design.

Chairman Kline’s draft proposal would authorize multiemployer composite plans, a new and innovative retirement option that will:

  • Strengthen the retirement security of American workers;

  • Protect workers and retirees in traditional multiemployer pensions;

  • Improve the competitiveness of American businesses; and

  • Protect taxpayers.

To read the discussion draft, click here.

For a section-by-section outline of the discussion draft, click here.

To read a summary of the discussion draft, click here

To read answers to basic questions, click here.


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