Enron-inspired legislation to allow workers greater control over their pension funds passed the House this week, and has a good chance of passing the Senate, too.
The Pension Security Bill of 2002 allows workers to immediately diversify any of their own contributions to pension plans instead of investing them in company stock, and to diversify their employer’s contributions after three years. The measure would also require companies to notify their workers 30 days in advance of any blackout periods where they would not be able to sell their company stock – and forbid company executives from selling during these times, too. Such a blackout period contributed to the pension plan losses suffered by Enron employees after the company’s stock tanked.
The bill also lets workers use pre-tax dollars to pay for investment advice and exempts incentive stock options and employee stock purchase plan stock options from employment taxes.
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