Congress has passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act ("MAP-21"), funding highway transportation projects and extending student loan interest rates.
Significant changes for employer-sponsored defined benefit pension plans are included in the legislation as revenue raisers, including provisions for:
- Stabilization of interest rates used by plan actuaries to calculate minimum contributions as well as to determine the applicability of certain benefit restrictions for underfunded plans;
- Increases in PBGC premiums; and
- An extension of the ability to transfer surplus pension assets to pay for retiree medical benefits as well as a new opportunity to make similar transfers to purchase retiree life insurance.