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H.R. 1856 (114th): Employee Benefits Protection Act of 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 16, 2015.

Employee Benefits Protection Act of 2015

Amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to require the mandatory summary description of a group health plan to declare: (1) whether the plan permits either the plan sponsor or any participating employer to unilaterally modify or terminate plan benefits affecting employees, retirees, and beneficiaries; and (2) when and to what extent plan benefits are fully vested with respect to these individuals.

Presumes that retiree health benefits cannot be modified or terminated as of the date an employee retires or completes 20 years of service with the employer. Allows this presumption to be overcome only upon a showing, by clear and convincing evidence, that the employee, before becoming a plan participant, was made aware, in clear and unambiguous terms, that the plan allowed for such a modification or termination of benefits.

Amends the National Labor Relations Act to make it an unfair labor practice for a labor organization and employer to enter into a contract or agreement to modify a previous agreement in a manner that results in a reduction or termination of retiree health insurance benefits, if the modification occurs after the retiree's retirement date.

Directs the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress on strategies used by corporations to avoid obligations to pay promised employee and retiree benefits.