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H.R. 4055 (109th): Employees’ Pension Security Act of 2005

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

10/7/2005--Introduced. Employees’ Pension Security Act of 2005 - Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to require assets of single-employer pension plans to be held in trust by joint boards of trustees.

Requires pension plan benefit statements to be provided periodically to plan participants (as well as, under current law, to any plan participant or beneficiary who so requests). Directs the Secretary of Labor to develop a model benefit statement to be used by plan administrators.

Requires plan sponsors and administrators to provide all material investment information in an accurate form to participants and beneficiaries. Authorizes the Secretary to assess civil penalties for violations of certain information requirements.

Sets forth additional requirements for plan termination, to prevent abuse of the bankruptcy and termination process, including requirements relating to: (1) distress termination; (2) bankruptcy court decrees, and the right to intervene to challenge them; (3) consideration of alternatives by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the plan sponsor; (4) PBGC efforts at consulting on alternatives with plan participants and their union representatives; and (5) notice of the right to challenge determinations relating to plan termination.

Amends federal bankruptcy law to include, in a priority order for recovery of expenses and claims, allowed unsecured claims for benefit liabilities to participants and beneficiaries under a single-employer plan in connection with the plan termination, in excess of the benefits payable to them by the PBGC in connection with such termination.