Health Care & Retirement Report Card for President’s Budget: Needs Improvement

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is disappointed President Obama did not use his 2017 fiscal year budget to promote important proposals that would allow the employer-provided health and retirement benefits system to grow.

“The budget is an ideal time to propose measures that improve and support the employer-sponsored retirement and health care system, like full repeal of the 40 percent excise tax and taking PBGC premiums ‘off-budget,’” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC.

As the only national trade association advocating solely for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers, ERIC is strongly committed to supporting the ability of employers to offer voluntarily benefits to employees and believes employers should be able to structure and design their plans to best fit the needs of their workforce. Placing additional burdens on employers makes it harder for them to provide high quality benefits to employees and their families.

PBGC premiums:

Recent PBGC premium increases were unnecessary and quite harmful to employers and plan participants, especially because the premium hikes were used to raise money for unrelated federal programs, a practice that is wrong and must stop.

“ERIC is pleased the Administration recognized that additional increases in single-employer PBGC premiums are unwise at this time. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to advance legislation that devotes PBGC premiums solely to the PBGC program, taking them ‘off-budget,’ so that they can no longer be used as revenue for unrelated programs,” said Guarisco Fildes. “Single employer pension plans are already overburdened, so we are calling on the Administration and Congress to proceed with caution when modifying the multi-employer plan rules, to make sure single-employer plans are protected.”

Health care:

ERIC continues to be concerned about the burdens placed on employer-sponsored health plans by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In particular, the 40 percent excise tax does nothing to help reduce the cost of health care or improve its quality. Instead, it places unparalleled administrative complexities and financial challenges on employers, siphoning off resources that otherwise could sustain or improve benefits for workers and their families.”

“While we appreciate recognition of the budget’s implicit acknowledgment that the excise tax is imposed inequitably on those who live in high-cost geographic areas, full repeal is the only answer. This proposed adjustment completely disregards the other uncontrollable factors that are used to calculate the tax, as well as the detrimental effects the tax could have on employer-sponsored health care plans, which is why ERIC continues to push for full repeal,” said Guarisco Fildes. “ERIC will also advocate for elimination of the employer mandate and related reporting requirements. Repealing the tax and removing these unnecessary burdens afflicting the employer-sponsored health system is our top priority.”

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC helps America’s largest employers stay ahead of employee benefit policy. ERIC member companies are leaders in every sector of the economy, and we represent them in their capacity as sponsors of employee benefit plans for their own workforce. Only ERIC provides the combination of intel, expertise, collaboration, and lobbying that exclusively serves the interests of large employers who provide health, retirement, and compensation benefits to their nationwide workforce.