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Relief ahead for multi-employer pension plans in the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act

The recently re-introduced Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 (Butch Lewis Act), originally passed by the House in 2019 and re-introduced in February 2021, is Congress’ most recent effort to direct funds to assist troubled multi-employer pension plans. Unlike previous legislative efforts in 2019 and 2020 which never made it through the Senate, with the recent change in the administration and control of the Senate, the Butch Lewis Act progressed rapidly through Congress. On March 1, the Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden released a statement confirming that the provisions of the Butch Lewis Act had the necessary budget impact to be included in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (the latest proposal for a COVID-19 relief plan). Senator Wyden noted that “the economic crisis has hit already struggling pension plans like a wrecking ball, and the retirement security of millions of American workers depends on getting this package across the finish line.” As a result, the multi-employer pension plan relief provided in the Butch Lewis Act was included in the final relief bill passed by the Senate, and the House of Representatives passed the American Rescue Plan on March 10, 2021. President Biden signed the bill into law on March 11, 2021.  Read more…