Pension fund bill aims to give relief to employers, retirees

January 2, 2009
Pittsburgh Business Times

© Pittsburgh Business Times, author Anya Litvak.

It’s a balancing act to design legislation to help retirees deal with plummeting pension fund values while easing the strain on companies that feed into those funds.

Congress’ stab at the issue was the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act, signed by the president Dec. 23, that does some of that for some of those seeking relief from the market’s collapse.

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“An actuary has to project how much money will be needed to pay all beneficiaries and the assumed rate of return (on investments),” said Susan Jordan, an attorney and co-chair of the employee benefits group at Fox Rothchild LLP. “When investments perform below expectation, the employer is making up for lower than expected earnings.”

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