WASHINGTON - The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) testified at a hearing on Capitol Hill before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue, urging Congress to pass a multiemployer pension bill that would increase the maximum deductibility limit to 140 percent of current liability and help ensure the fiscal health of the plans moving forward.

Chuck Clark, a member of AGC's Michigan Chapter and president and CEO of Clark Construction, Lansing, Mich., told the House committee, "If Congress would raise the maximum deductibility level to 140 percent, many of the funding problems faced by the industry in 2002 could be avoided in the future."

In 2001 and 2002, AGC found that multiemployer pension funds were facing funding deficiencies because the maximum deducibility limit was only at 100 percent, making it virtually impossible for plans to create sufficient savings in the event of a downturn in the market, says the association. The House proposal to increase the deductibility limit would allow the plans to save more for future retirees and avoid funding shortfalls in the future.

"The construction industry is the number one user of multiemployer pension plans because they provide portability for workers as they move to different jobsites and new employers," said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. "AGC's number one priority for this bill is to ensure the increase in the maximum deductibility limit - we appreciate the effort of House members to listen to our concerns and the concerns of our members."

AGC is a national construction trade association representing more than 33,000 firms, including 7,000 leading general contractors and over 12,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. For more information, visit www.agc.org.

Publication date: 07/04/2005