8:58 AM 31 Mar 1997
Unable to convert ARMS_EXT: [ATTACH.D67)MAIL446323981.016 to ASCII, The following is a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l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ex-Dump Conversion PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES PENSION SECURITY STEPS March 31,1997 TODAY, PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL RELEASE THE PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION'S (PBGC) ANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS -- SHOWING A SURPLUS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ~BGC'S 22-YEAR HISTORY. The Report shows a year-end financial surplus of $869 million, based on assets of more than $12 billion and liabilities of nearly $11.2 billion. The Annual Report should reassure the 42 million working men and women whose pensions are protected by PBGC. In 1994, President Clinton signed the Retirement Protection Act, which put in place numerous pension reforms, including strengthening funding rules for underfunded plans and enhancing PBGC's compliance authority. Due in part to these reforms, the PBGC, under the leadership of Martin Slate, erased a deficit that reached nearly $3 billion in 1993. Strong financial management has spared taxpayers a potential loss of millions of dollars. PRESIDENT CLINTON PROPOSES AUDIT REFORM TO ENHANCE PENSION SAFEGUARDS. President Clinton's initiative -- which he also proposed last year -- will improve pension security for millions of American workers. Today, more than $950 billion in pension plan assets are not comprehensively audited, affecting 22 million workers. The President's proposal addresses this problem by: Closing a loophole that permits $950 billion in pension funds to escape meaningful audit; Requiring prompt reporting if criminal acts are discovered during an audit; and Assuring that only qualified professionals conduct audits of ERISA plans. PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCES OTHER PENSION SECURITY STEPS: The PWBA's 401(k) Enforcement Project Passes $20 Million Mark. The number of 40 1(k) plans has grown enormously in recent years (from 17,000 in 1984 to 154,000 in 1993). While the vast majority of these plans are safe, the Administration has stepped up enforcement against those employers who spend or borrow their employees' pension contributions. Injust two years, the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration's 401(k) Enforcement Project has recovered over $20 million for more than 40,000 employees across the country. Today, the Administration Starts a New Toll-Free Pension Hotline --1-800-998-7542. Today, the Labor Department initiates a toll-free number to provide pension information to workers. Sixteen publications, such as "Protect Your Pension" and "What You Should Know About Your Pension Rights," are available to individuals through this number. This will help pension plan participants understand their rights and identify early warning signs of pension problems. New Rules Will Put Pension Money To Work for Participants Sooner. Final rules went into effect last month requiring employers to deposit employee contributions into pension plans as soon as possible, but no later than 15 business days after the end of the month during which the contribution was made. It is estimated that this change will increase earnings for participants and beneficiaries by an average of $70 million per year over the next ten years. Hex-Dump Converoion PBGC'S ANNUAL REPORT SHOWS FIRST-EVER SURPLUS TODA Y, PRESIDENT CLINTON ANNOUNCED THAT THE PENSION BENEFIT GUARANTY CORPORATION (PBGC), WHICH INSURES THE PENSIONS OF MORE THAN 42 MILLION WORKERS IN ABOUT 50,000 PENSION PLANS, HAS REACHED FINANCIAL SOLVENCY. No major terminations of underfunded pension plans and significant income from premiums and investments in 1996 have resulted in a surplus for the first time in PBGC's 22-year history in its largest insurance program -- the single-employer program. With assets of $12.04 billion and liabilities of $11.17 billion, PBGC ended fiscal year 1996 with a surplus of $869 million. PBGC erased a $3 billion deficit in just three years. Premium revenue of $1.17 billion -- up 36% -- and investment income of $927 million contributed to the improved financial condition. PBGC IS A FEDERAL AGENCY CREATED BY THE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT INCOME SECURITY ACT (ERISA) OF 1974 TO GUARANTEE PAYMENT OF BASIC PENSION BENEFITS EARNED BY WORKERS. PBGC has two insurance programs covering private-sector defined benefit pension plans -- the traditional pension that promises a specific benefit at retirement, often based on a combination of salary and years of service. The single-employer program covers about 34 million people. The multiemployer program, which covers about 8.6 million people, has had a surplus since 1982. The agency receives no funds from general tax revenues. Operations are financed by insurance premiums paid by pension plan sponsors, investment returns, assets from pension plans trusteed by PBGC, and recoveries from the companies formerly responsible for the trusteed plans. PBGC pays benefits according to the provisions of each individual single-employer pension plan up to the limits of PBGC's maximum guarantee, which for plans taken over in 1997 is $2,761 per month ($33,136 annually) at age 65. Most workers in plans taken over by PBGC receive the full benefit they would have received under the plan. BECAUSE OF THE REFORMS OF THE RETIREMENT PROTECTION ACT OF 1994, WORKERS AND RETIREES CAN REST ASSURED THAT THEIR PENSIONS ARE PROTECTED BY A STRONG INSURANCE AGENCY. The law strengthened funding rules for underfunded plans; PBGC's compliance authority was enhanced; underfunded plans that pose the greatest risk now pay the most for protections; and workers in underfunded plans now get an easy-to-understand notice about their plan's funding level and PBGC guarantees. PBGC IS NOW RESPONSIBLE FOR PENSIONS OF 440,000 PEOPLE IN 2,300 PLANS IT HAS TAKEN OVER AND PAID $800 MILLION IN BENEFITS TO ABOUT 200,000 OF THESE PEOPLE IN 1996. PBGC had reported annual deficits since it was created in 1974, ranging from $12 million in Hex-Dump Conversion 1975 to $2.9 billion in 1993. Questions had been raised about the ability of the agency to meet its future obligations. Today, there are sufficient assets to meet all guaranteed benefits. PBGC's early warning program has prevented pension loss and added over $14 billion in protection to underfunded pension plans as corporations restructured. Vigilance continues against any weakening of the insurance program or pension funding in the future. Hex-Dump Conversion PRESIDENT CLINTON'S AUDIT REFORM PROPOSAL PRESIDENT CLINTON PROPOSES AUDIT REFORM. President Clinton's Audit Reform initiative -- also proposed last year _. will improve pension security for millions of American workers by: Closing a loophole that permits $950 billion in pension funds to escape meaningful audit; Requiring prompt reporting if criminal acts are discovered during an audit; and Assuring that only qualified professionals conduct audits of ERISA plans. AUDIT REFORM PROPOSAL REPEALS OPTION FOR PENSION PLANS TO CONDUCT A "LIMITED SCOPE" AUDIT. Today, more than $950 billion in pension plan assets (nearly half of the estimated $2 trillion subject to ERISA's audit requirement) are not subject to a comprehensive audit, affecting 22 million workers. Under ERISA, plan assets held in certain regulated financial institutions can be excluded from the scope of an annual financial audit. When a plan elects a so-called "limited scope" audit, auditors are prohibited from rendering an opinion on the plan's financial statements under professional aUditing standards. Repealing this "limited scope" audit exemption for pension plans will give plan participants and beneficiaries assurance that all plan assets are subject to a meaningful audit. AUDIT REFORM PROPOSAL REQUIRES DIRECT REPORTING OF EGREGIOUS VIOLATIONS RIGHT AWAY. To ensure that the Dep~rtment of Labor can respond more promptly to crimes involving pension plans, the proposal requires both plan administrators and accountants. auditing employee benefit plans who discover serious fraud or other egregious ERISA violations to promptly report them to the Department of Labor. PROPOSAL ALSO ASSURES THAT ONLY QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS CONDUCT AUDITS OF ERISA PLANS. The proposal also requires public accountants who audit employee benefit plans to have a peer review process, appropriate internal quality control systems, and continuing education requirements. Hex-Dump Conversion THE CLINTON RECORD ON PENSION SECURITY THE RETIREMENT PROTECTION ACT OF 1994_ In December 1994, President Clinton signed the Retirement Protection Act, which protects the benefits of more than 40 million American workers and retirees in traditional pension plans. The Act helped to bring about the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) first surplus in its 22-year history. The Act strengthened funding rules for underfunded plans; enhanced PBGC's compliance authority; required underfunded plans that pose the greatest risk to pay their fair share for protections; and ensured that workers in underfunded plans get an easy-to-understand notice about their plan's funding level and PBGC guarantees. THE 401(k) ENFORCEMENT PROJECT. In 1995, the Labor Department launched an initiative to protect savings in 401 (k) plans from misuse, recovering to date just over $20 million for over 40,000 workers. THE RETIREMENT EDUCATION CAMPAIGN. In 1995, the Labor Department, along with over 200 public and private sector partners, launched a campaign to encourage workers to save for retirement and to educate workers about their pension rights and how to protect their savings. PENSION SECURITY REFORMS OF 1996. In 1996, President Clinton proposed the Retirement Savings and Security Act containing a variety of pension security initiatives. Later in the year, the President signed the minimum wage bill, which included several of his pension security provisions. The law: Protects Government Employees' Savings from Orange County-Style Fiascos: Requires state and local government retirement savings plans to be held in trust so that employees do not lose their savings if the government declares bankruptcy, as Orange County did. Increases Penalties for Self-Dealing: Penalties for self-dealing pension funds (such as loans to the company owner) are generally doubled, from 5 percent to 10 percent. Improves Spousal Protections: In accordance with the minimum wage legislation, the Treasury Department has helped protect spousal benefits in the choice of an annuity and during divorce proceedings by making it easier for spouses to understand their pension rights. Treasury has issued sample language, written in plain English, that retirement plans can give spouses and others to clarify what spouses' rights and benefits are -- both when selecting a pension annuity or other benefit and in the case of divorce.