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antigop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-31-05 03:21 PM
Original message
The Senate HELP committee will meet next week to discuss a pension bill. If you know ANYONE FROM WYOMING who is currently collecting or hopes to collect a corporate pension, he/she needs to contact Enzi's office ASAP.

The Republicans wants to legalize cash balance pension plans. Enzi is the Ranking majority leader of the Senate HELP committee.


The following is a legislative alert issued from the Pension Rights Center.


FOLKS, we just heard that the Senate HELP Committee is marking-up their pension bill NEXT WEEKAS EARLY AS WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th. This is a crucial battle that we have to win to ensure that Congress passes a bill that contains cash balance provisions that protect the benefit expectations of older employees.

Weve heard that Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Committee, is INSISTING that the bill include provisions that will legalize cash balance plans on a retroactive basis.

WE NEED TO ACT FAST THIS WEEK TO make sure that the bill does NOT legalize cash balance plans going backward and to ensure that the bill fully protects workers interests going forward.


1. Call, fax and e-mail the Members of the HELP Committee (list attached - also write/call/fax Senator Mikulski's office and also Harkin's office) and tell them that if they address cash balance plans in their legislation it must :

Protect the benefit expectations of older employees.
Ban the wearaway of both normal and subsidized early retirement benefits
Include adequate transition benefits such as providing employees with a choice between the old and new plans once they reach retirement age.
NOT legalize cash balance plans retroactively. Tell them any attempt to do this would be very complex and undermine the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers.
You should focus first and foremost on the Members of the Senate HELP who are your own Senators (but if you have time, call all Members of the Senate HELP Committee). We've also attached a draft letter that you can use. REMEMBER TO INCLUDE DETAILS OF YOUR OWN SITUATION. The most effective e-mails and faxes are those that include personal details of how you've been hurt by cash balance conversions.

2. If you only have limited time, you should focus your e-mails, faxes and phone calls on the following four Members of the Senate HELP Committee who will be instrumental in the outcome of cash balance legislation:

Michael Enzi (WY)

Committee Chairman

Phone: (202) 224-3424

Fax: (202) 228-0359

Edward Kennedy (MA)

Ranking Member

Phone: (202) 224-4543

Fax: (202) 224-2417

Orrin Hatch (UT)

Phone: (202) 224-5251

Fax: (202) 224-6331

Mike DeWine (OH)

Phone: (202) 224-2315

Fax: (202) 224-6519

3. Also, even if your own Senators are not on the Senate HELP Committee, you should write them to ask that they co-sponsor the Pension Benefits Protection Act (S. 1304), introduced by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), which allows workers the choice between the old and new plan during conversions and which stops companies from engaging in wearaway practices that effectively freeze the benefits of older employees. Also ask your Senators to call Members of the Senate HELP Committee to ask them to protect employee interests in cash balance conversions. You can find your own Senators by looking on the following web site, or by calling the Senate operator at (202) 224-3121.

Attached are a list of the members of Senate HELP Committee with their contact information and a draft letter you can use to send to members of the HELP Committee.

Lets work together to make sure that the Senate HELP Committee passes a good bill that protects older employees.

Please feel free to contact us.


Karen, Ryan and Joellen

Pension Rights Center

1350 Connecticut Ave, NW

Suite 206

Washington DC 20036

(202) 296-3776


URGENT (August 2005): Pensions Are Under Attack
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