Professor Norman Stein offered reserved praise for a proposal to reform multi-employer pension plans during a panel discussion convened May 2 by Bloomberg Government and televised on C-SPAN.
With a rising number of pension funds headed toward insolvency, the panel discussed reforms proposed by the nonprofit National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans to safeguard benefits for employees who work in private-sector industries that include construction, trucking, retail and entertainment.
The proposed reforms reflect a great deal of thought but may not give retirees enough of a voice in decision-making, Stein said.
In addition, Stein said, pension premiums paid by employers need to increase in order to preserve the safety net. It might be possible to adjust the tax code so that workers would share in premium costs, which would protect small businesses from dramatic increases in costs, he said.
Stein joined former U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, Cary Franklin, of Horizon Actuarial Services, Randy DeFrehn of the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans on the panel.
A senior policy advisor at the Pension Rights Center in Washington, D.C., Stein is a nationally recognized expert on pension law and tax law.