Washington, DC – The following statement should be attributed to Annette Guarisco Fildes, President and CEO of The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC):
“ERIC is pleased President Trump’s 2021 budget addresses the rising cost of health care and calls for legislative and regulatory efforts to achieve ERIC member companies’ top health policy objectives: lowering prescription drug costs, ending surprise medical bills, and promoting greater transparency in the health care system. We were especially pleased the President acknowledged the important role biosimilars can play in reducing prices and out-of-pocket costs which lead to better access for more affordable medications.
The Administration’s budget also includes pension plan proposals including changes to premiums that companies pay to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). As for the single-employer system which is enjoying an $8.7 billion surplus, we applaud the Administration for temporarily freezing indexing on the flat PBGC premium rate in recognition of this surplus, and strongly oppose any increase in the per participant cap on the variable rate PBGC premium. Given the surplus in the single-employer program, increasing the cap is not only unnecessary, but an encouragement for companies to stop their defined benefit plans. As for the multiemployer pension plan changes, we oppose PBGC premium increases that are made alone and not part of comprehensive multiemployer pension reform. Without addressing the various issues in the multiemployer system, increasing premiums alone will not save the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation.
In regard to President Trump’s paid leave proposal for new parents, ERIC supports this effort but cautions that any new legislation – at the state or federal level – should not place additional burdens on employers who already offer these benefits. As large employers, ERIC member companies offer paid leave benefits for many reasons beyond parental leave, so it is important for any paid leave effort to coordinate with existing plans and not create additional compliance obstacles. Moreover, ERIC asks that any federal paid leave legislation address the patchwork of laws and regulations across the nation at the state and local level to ensure that nationwide employers are not needlessly complying with administrative and compliance burdens that do not improve the value of the paid leave benefit.
ERIC will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to protect large employers’ ability to offer the best benefits to their individual workforces.”