WASHINGTON, June 7 (UPI) -- Both houses of Congress are investigating what increasingly appears to be a looming crisis in the nation's private pension system.
A Senate committee Tuesday plans to hear testimony on the government's Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which is obliged to pick up obligations from failed private pension plans, the Washington Post reported Tuesday. A House committee will do likewise Thursday.
The 1,108 weakest pension plans, those with assets that are at least $50 million below the value of promised benefits, were short by an aggregate $353.7 billion at the end of last year, figures from the PBGC show. That's 27 percent more than the previous year's shortfall.
Meanwhile, Rep. John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, is working on a pension bill that could be introduced this week.
"Without fundamental reform, more companies will default on their worker pension plans, increasing the likelihood of a multibillion-dollar taxpayer bailout, and more companies will stop providing defined-benefit pension plans to their workers altogether," Boehner said Monday.