New Coalition Addresses Employee Retirement Benefits

By John S. McClenahen Business and employee-benefit groups are putting together a new coalition to advocate caution as pressure builds in Washington for changes in retirement and investment plan rules in the wake of Enron Corp.'s bankruptcy filing. "Let's not rush to judgment and arbitrarily impose broad new regulations and rules on retirement plans in reaction to what happened at Enron," urges Dorothy Coleman, vice president for tax policy at the Washington-based National Association of Manufacturers, one of six founding members of the coalition. "The best thing we can do now is to first get all the facts surrounding the Enron situation and then slowly and cautiously examine whether legislative or regulatory remedies are appropriate," says Kathleen Havey, director of pension policy at the Washington-based U.S. Chamber of Commerce, another founding member of the coalition. The four other founding members are the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America, the ERISA Industry Committee, the ESOP Association and the American Benefits Council. The coalition's first meeting is expected to take place this week.

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