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GROW Act Before House

A bill that would revamp the multiemployer pension system is now before the U.S. House. Rep. David Roe (R-TN) introduced the measure on Feb. 13; Rep. David Norcross (D-NJ) is its co-sponsor.

The Give Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act, H.R. 4997, is intended to safeguard the multiemployer pension plan system by authorizing the creation of a new type of retirement option that combines key features of defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

According to Roe’s office, the bill provides that:

  • workers would still receive lifetime income;

  • employers would negotiate a fixed contribution rate and limit their risk; and

  • the benefits that workers earned under a traditional multiemployer plan are protected even after they are shifted into the “composite” plan the GROW Act would create.

Roe’s office argues that the measure would enable pensions “to maintain fiscal solvency” and that it “should be an integral part of larger reforms to the multiemployer pension system.”

In statements about the bill, Roe and Norcross stressed that it is a bipartisan effort. “This plan will create a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario for employers and employees, and I look forward to working to ensure composite plans are a key reform adopted to ensure the multiemployer pension system is around for future,” said Roe. Norcross called it a “bipartisan solution” that “combines key features of defined benefit and defined contribution plans and is a win-win-win — for employees, employers and our economy as a whole.”

H.R. 4997 awaits action by two House committees: Ways and Means and Education and the Workforce.