What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Pension Protections : HR 3762. Pension Reform/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill Which Allowed Executives to Own a Greater Share of Pension Money and Required the Diversification of Employee Pension Plans. (2002 house Roll Call 88)
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HR 3762. Pension Reform/Vote on Rules of Debate on a Bill Which Allowed Executives to Own a Greater Share of Pension Money and Required the Diversification of Employee Pension Plans.
house Roll Call 88     Apr 11, 2002
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

The scandals at Enron and other corporations called attention to weaknesses in existing pension law. Executives could diversify their portfolios as a company headed into trouble while employees-restricted from selling by company regulations-would be left holding the bag. The reform bill House Republicans proposed made it easier for employees to diversify earlier, and mandated that employers provide employees with investment advice from outside experts. Progressives and Democrats in general supported reform in principle, but they disagreed with this specific bill for a number of reasons. They pointed to the confusing diversification provisions-which gave employers maximum discretion over how much of an employee's pension would be available to reinvest-and to the likelihood that outside investment advisors would be no less self-serving than the employer had been. They also complained that the bill weakened existing law mandating a certain amount of equity between executive and employee pensions. Because they opposed the bill, Progressives also opposed the "rule": the set of instructions outlining the conduct of debate. The rule must be passed before debate can begin, so a defeat for the rule is a defeat for the bill itself. However, despite unified Democratic opposition to the pension reform bill's rule, it still passed 215-209.

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