News Releases

“As I look at the challenges facing our country and as I listen to the people of Washington state, it is clear to me that we need to invest in the priorities that will help strengthen our nation well into the future. To me, that means protecting the future of Americans who have worked hard all their lives. And that’s why, as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), I worked with my colleagues to develop legislation that will help shore up and protect our nation’s pension system for the long haul.

The retirement security of all American workers is of critical importance in these uncertain economic times.

All across Washington state workers are asking: Will my retirement be there? What happened to my security? For our state’s over 1.5 million active and retired workers we must do better. We need a pension policy that is driven by what is best for our workers, retirees and employers, not by the need to meet arbitrary budget targets.

The pension reform bill I supported today in the Senate does right by our workers. It will ensure that the pensions that have been promised will be there for our retirees in their golden years.

I know that pensions are a critical component of the three-legged stool that comprises retirement security for all American workers – in concert with private savings and Social Security. That is why I am committed to ensuring that the pension bill that reaches the President’s desk will preserve and protect the pensions of all America’s workers.”

The Senate Pension bill Senator Murray supported will:

  • Provide workers, companies, and the public with more timely and accurate information about the current financial condition of their pension plans;

  • Improve pension plan funding;

  • Provide more predictable rules for companies;

  • Give workers access to independent investment advice that is free form conflicts of interest;

  • Require pension plans to provide additional benefit options for surviving spouses;

  • Preserve shutdown benefits that are critical for workers in the auto, steel and other manufacturing companies;

  • Level the playing field for workers and executives – if a company underfunds its pension plan, it cannot fund executive compensation;

  • Shore up multi-employer plans by requiring troubled pans to improve their financial condition;

  • Provide for a transition period for rural agricultural, electric and telephone cooperatives to adjust to the new rules;

  • Protect older workers in cash balance plan conversions by providing transition benefits or a choice between the old pension and the new one; and

  • Clarify that retirement plans sponsored by tribal governments are in fact governmental plans and are entitled to the same tax treatment as other defined benefit pension plans.