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Farmer Co-ops Urge Support for House Bill on Multiple-Employer Pension Plans

Press Releases
Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2019)—The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) today urged members of the House of Representatives to support passage of H.R. 1994, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The SECURE Act is expected to be debated on the House floor on Wednesday. H.R. 1994 addresses the overcharging of premiums by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for rural cooperative “multiple-employer” pension plans. More than 400 farmer cooperatives across the country participate in such plans. Previous Congresses have recognized that these were different than other types of plans, and by their nature pose virtually no risk of default to the PBGC. As such, adjusting PBGC premiums to better reflect the low risk would provide additional stability for those cooperatives that provide these retirement benefits to their employees “The SECURE Act will ensure that farmer co-ops have millions of dollars more to invest in activities with a direct economic benefit to their farmer-owners and their local economies. This is especially vital as farmers and farm communities continue to struggle with persistent low prices for a range of crops,” said Chuck Conner, president and CEO of NCFC. “These multiple-employer plans pose no risk to the soundness of the PBGC and should be treated as such. We urge members of the House to vote ‘yes’ on H.R. 1994 when it comes to a vote this week.”
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