AREF white papers address the need to educate members of Congress, the Administration, federal agencies, advocacy groups and public on important retirement issues.

AREF does research into government documents, Congressional and independent studies and media reports to validate its proposals.

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Retirees worry about losing unprotected welfare benefits, such as, health care and/or life insurance benefits. In many cases their pension plans are comfortably funded and hold surplus assets that plan participants and companies would like to use to help sustain these benefits. Unfortunately, Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 420 prohibits the use of plan asset surplus unless a plan is funded at 125% or higher.

Pension plans funded above 110% but under 125% are well protected but companies may need plan assets to extend or virtually save welfare benefits, that IRC Section 420 was created to protect. The Section 420 outdated threshold of 125% indirectly places welfare benefits at risk.

In Senate bill S.1770, Retirement Security and Saving Act is an AREF/NRLN proposed amendment that would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and IRC Section 420 to reduce the Section 420 surplus transfer limits from 125% to 110%, subject to the requirement that annual plan surplus transfers may not exceed the combined annual life insurance and health insurance benefits or 1.75% of plan assets whichever is lower.



Health Care

I have updated the NRLN’s white paper for 2021. The title is: It is time to end taxpayer subsidies to the private healthcare insurance industry for Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.

Click here to Read the Document.

Click here to read the Talking Points.

The NRLN supports competition from private healthcare plans and understands the financial challenges ahead for Medicare and the federal budget. However, we do not support bonus and rebate subsidies, or anti-competitive restrictions placed on the original Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) just to preserve the notion that private insurance plans may be more cost effective or provide better care than FFS, when the record shows they are not.