American Bankruptcy Institute Update

June 9, 2005

In This Issue


Legislation Update

Thomas Says Pension Bill Will Benefit from Momentum

Moving a pension bill as part of a larger retirement-security package could speed passage of changes to both the Social Security program and the private pension system, House Ways and Means Chairman William Thomas (R-Calif.) said today, CongressDaily reported. The House Education and the Workforce Committee will finish its work by the end of the month on a comprehensive pension bill that Education and the Workforce Chairman John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Thomas plan to introduce today. Boehner said he supports looking at retirement more broadly, but an aide cautioned that no firm decisions have yet been made. "It may be part of a retirement-security package, but all the options are open," a spokesman said. The package also might include a separate bill on so-called cash-balance or hybrid pensions, but Boehner and Thomas have not been able to reach an agreement on that bill.

Boehner today is introducing a separate bill dealing with the legal uncertainty surrounding hybrid plans, which are technically traditional, company-sponsored pensions but have features of newer plans like 401(k)s. Thomas and Boehner said they will continue to discuss the cash-balance issue.

Several senators also are moving ahead with their own plans for a pension overhaul. Senate Finance Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) are separately working on bills. Enzi said this week he wants to clear a bill through his committee by the time Congress breaks for its August recess.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) told a House panel today that the federal agency insuring private pension plans has a deficit that will likely more than triple to $71 billion in the next decade, creating more urgency for Congress to consider pension-overhaul legislation, the Wall Street Journal reported. At a House Budget Committee hearing on “PBGC’s Unfunded Pension Liabilities: Will Taxpayers Have to Pay the Bill?,” CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin said that under the current weak condition of many single-employer defined-benefit plans, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) will experience a deficit that would require a fivefold increase in premiums paid by companies in order to wipe it out.

ABI World Tutorial Highlights Membership Directory

Not sure how to use ABI’s online Membership Do You Know?Directory? A new online tutorial
demonstrates the many different ways you can search for ABI members. The tutorial features a visual demonstration of how to use the directory with both text and voiceover instructions. This is the first in a series of tutorials that will highlight the many resources and services that are available at the ABI World web site.

Order your print version of the directory online.

Register for the Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop by June 16 And Save!

Register to attend ABI’s Tenth Annual Southeast Bankruptcy Workshop, held July 27 – 30 at the Kiawah Island Resort, S.C., by June 16 and save $50 off the regular registration fee. This year’s conference offers attendees the opportunity to earn 13.5 hours of CLE credit, including 1.5 hours of ethics. Coverage of the coming new bankruptcy law will be incorporated into the relevant workshop topics and will be discussed in a breakfast presentation by ABI Executive Director Samuel Gerdano, Judge Jennie Latta (Memphis, Tenn.) and Judge Stephen Mitchell (Alexandria, Va.). Topics include “deepening insolvency” issues, assignments for the benefit of creditors, receiverships and other alternatives to bankruptcy, interest rates and other confirmation issues after Till, conflict of interest after the 2005 legislation and other ethical issues, developments in banking and commercial law, insurance issues, legislation and current caselaw on consumer and commercial issues and more. Register online today!

Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee e-Newsletter Available Online

The June issue of ABI’s Unsecured Trade Creditors Committee e-newsletter is available online. Read articles on interim financing and cash-collateral stipulation, and preference relief.

“Best of ABI” Audioconference Features Judges on the New Law

ABI will present the third in a series of “Best of ABI” audioconferences, Judges’ Roundtable – The New Bankruptcy Law," on June 29, 2005, at 3:00 pm (ET). The panel of experienced bankruptcy judges from four different circuits will discuss the coming significant changes in business and consumer bankruptcy law.  The panel was the top-rated program, as selected by the record crowd at the Annual Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. The program is 90 minutes. For more information or to register, click here.

Latest Job Postings at ABI Career Center

Check out the ABI Career Center. The Center is a one-stop site for job seekers and employers in the insolvency community. Career Center resources are available free to both employers and job seekers. New positions are featured daily. The latest listings include: