Letter: Sneaky class warfare inside transportation bill

November 15, 2013 

There was an unwelcome surprise in the pension information supplement I just received. Short version: Baby boomers lost and corporations won.

On Wikipedia, I learned that Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) had a lot of unrelated provisions, including transportation funding (with a cut to funding for bike and pedestrian paths), extension of student loan interest, flood insurance, etc. It also says you can't get a passport if you owe the IRS more than $50,000.

Barely mentioned in the Wikipedia article on MAP-21 is a provision that allows employers to significantly reduce current pension contributions by assuming that in the future interest rates will be higher. While it is likely that they will be, the current period of very low interest rates has lasted longer than expected. The important thing is that corporations get a big cut in the amount of funding that they have to contribute to their pension plans. It amounted to over $17 million less for the plan I get my pension from.

That, people, is class warfare.


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