U.S. seeks stricter pension rules

Jan. 11, 2005 at 10:03 AM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The White House is proposing tighter funding requirements for corporate pensions so U.S. taxpayers won't have to bail out bankrupt corporate pensions.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which insures corporate pensions, has become strained recently, posting a record deficit of $23.3 billion in November as both US Airways and United Airlines tried to pass along pension liabilities, the Financial Times reported Tuesday.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao said Monday her proposals, which require Congressional approval, will force companies to act sooner to fix under-funded schemes and penalize those in trouble by making them pay higher insurance premiums.

"If nothing is done, the financial integrity of the PBGC will be compromised and the pension security of 34 million workers and retirees will be more at risk," Chao said.

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