Chamber Urges Action on the 30-year Treasury Rate Issue
June 26, 2003
To Members of the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee:
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region, I ask you to support legislation that simplifies reporting requirements for retirement plans of small businesses. Simplifying the reporting requirements will encourage small businesses to sponsor retirement plans and thereby expand pension coverage for small business workers.
The current pension reporting requirements are an administrative and financial burden on small businesses. Small businesses are the least likely employers to sponsor a retirement plan for their employees. One reason is the administrative burden (and associated costs) required to comply with the complex rules governing retirement plans. Under current law, most retirement plans must file a Form 5500 annually with the federal government. Due to limited resources, this reporting requirement can discourage small businesses from implementing a retirement plan. To encourage retirement coverage for small business workers, we urge you to support legislation simplifying the reporting requirements for small business retirement plans.
There are two legislative proposals in Congress that simplify reporting requirements for small business retirement plans. Section 202 of the Pension Security Act (H.R. 1000), which passed the House of Representatives on May 14, directs the Department of Treasury and the Department of Labor to provide simplified reporting requirements for retirement plans with fewer than 25 employees. It also exempts certain small retirement plans from all reporting requirements. The Pension Preservation and Savings Expansion Act of 2003 (H.R. 1776), which has been introduced by Representatives Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), includes the same proposal. These proposals are important to the continued development of the retirement plan system within the small business community.
We urge you to support legislation that simplifies reporting requirements for small business retirement plans. Simplification of the Form 5500 reporting requirements will reduce the administrative burdens on small business retirement plans, thereby promoting greater participation in the retirement plan system by small business employers and providing pension coverage for millions of small business workers across the country.
Thank you for your consideration.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce