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Committee on Benefits Finance Quarterly Overview

The Committee on Benefits Finance (CBF) held its quarterly meeting on September 19-20 in Washington, DC. The meeting offered a robust agenda on a variety of policy issues related to corporate benefits finance. CBF members received a report on current and expected legislation on employee benefits issues from a senior member of the House Ways & Means Committee. Members were told that the House Republican leadership’s tax reform blueprint that is expected to serve as the basis for tax reform efforts in the next Congress does not include much detail on retirement issues and that Congress will have to addresses issues such as underfunded public pension plans, funding of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in the next session.

CBF members also heard from industry experts on topics including the proposed revision of Form 5500 and accounting standards updates such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) retirement plan exposure draft and 123R implementation. With regard to Form 5500, members were told that the proposed revisions will require employers to do significantly more reporting and coordination with service providers. Members were advised that DOL will use the enhanced reporting to target audit candidates and set enforcement priorities.

The Committee was provided with an update on the status of several FASB accounting standards updates related to benefits finance, including stock compensation, pension cost, and disclosure and accounting requirements for defined benefit plans, as well as heard an analysis of how the presidential and Congressional elections are shaping up from Bloomberg Government’s Capitol Hill reporter. Committee members also shared best practices and discussed industry trends during the meeting’s roundtable sessions.