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S. 27: American Miners Act of 2019

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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 Jan 3, 2019.

American Miners Act of 2019

This bill transfers certain funds to provide pension and health benefits for retired coal miners who have been affected by issues such as coal company bankruptcies.

The Department of the Treasury must transfer additional funds to the 1974 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) Pension Plan to pay pension benefits required under that plan if the annual limit on transfers under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 exceeds the amount required to be transferred for existing obligations of the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The bill also increases the annual limit on transfers from $490 million to $750 million.

The bill also adds miners affected by 2018 coal company bankruptcies to the group whose retiree health benefits are taken into account in determining the amount that Treasury must transfer under current law to the Multiemployer Health Benefit Plan.

Additionally, the bill (1) allows in-service distributions under a pension plan or governmental section 457(b) plan at age 59-1/2 (currently age 62); and (2) extends and increases the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund excise tax.