Discord Over Efforts at Valuing Pensions
New York Times (05/01/03) Vol. 32, No. 4 p.34; Walsh, Mary Williams

The Bush administration and Treasury Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Peter R. Fisher have indicated that the pension system needs to strengthened, with maturities of pension plans more closely matching expected retirement dates of employees. While the administration has suggested keeping pension rules as they are for the next two years, businesses are angered and claim that the current rules, especially the discount rate, are stifling business growth as many more companies are being forced to infuse their plans with cash or stock contributions. Those companies with older workers are scrambling to persuade Congress to increase the discount rate in order to artificially inflate pension assets and push off further contributions to the plans. While businesses blame pension measurements for the current underfunded state of pensions, the Treasury has noted that the dip in the market has shed light on an underlying problem with the current pension system.


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