Pension Funding Fix Postponed

A measure to bolster the finances of defined-benefit pension plans has been eliminated from the U.S. Senate's jobs bill, in a move Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid described as an effort to get the jobs legislation passed quickly.

Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said that he plans to bring the slimmed-down jobs bill to the Senate floor on Feb. 22, according to news reports. Components eliminated from the bill, which include extensions of unemployment benefits and the federal subsidy for COBRA premiums as well as the pension funding measure, would be presented as a separate piece of legislation at a later date. The jobs bill seeks to encourage hiring by giving companies an exemption from the 6.2% Social Security tax they pay on wages for workers they hire this year who have been out of work for at least 60 days.

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