The $1.01 trillion spending bill includes some new provisions that may come as a shock
There have been Senate hearings, exploratory committees and rumors over the years, but nothing had ever really been legislated so most Americans simply ignored it as another one of those “conspiracy theories.”
The measure, attached to a massive $1.01 trillion spending bill, would alter 40 years of federal law and could affect millions of workers, many of them part of a shrinking corps of middle-income employees in businesses such as trucking, construction and supermarkets.
“We have to do something to allow these plans to make the corrections and adjustments they need to keep these plans viable,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), who along with Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) led efforts to hammer out a deal.
The idea is reluctantly supported by some unions and retirement fund managers who see it as the only way to salvage pensions in plans that are in imminent danger of running out of money.
But it also has stirred strong opposition from retirees who could face deep pension cuts and from advocates eager to keep retiree pensions sacrosanct, even in cases when funds are in a deep financial hole. The advocates argue that allowing cuts to plans would open the door to trims for other retirees later.
“We thought our pension was secure,” said Whitlow Wyatt, a retired trucker who lives in Washington Court House, a small city in central Ohio. “That was always the word. Now they are changing that.”
Source: MSN Money