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The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974A Political History$
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James Wooten

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242739

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242739.001.0001

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“The ‘Bible’ in This Field”

“The ‘Bible’ in This Field”

The President’s Committee on Corporate Pension Funds and the Origins of ERISA

(p.80) 3 “The ‘Bible’ in This Field”
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

James A. Wooten

University of California Press

Reforms to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) embody a worker-security theory of pensions. This view received its most important early expression in the report of the President’s Committee on Corporate Pension Funds (Cabinet Committee). It became clear that the more stringent rules might apply to corporate plans when the Senate adopted Albert Gore’s (D, Tenn.) amendment to eliminate capital gains treatment for lump-sum distributions from any qualified retirement plan. The goal of the tax subsidy was to encourage firms to provide retirement income to employees. The technical group’s response to the Cabinet Committee’s proposals for expanding coverage and limiting tax avoidance was more ambivalent. Public Policy and Private Pension Programs appeared six months after Vance Hartke introduced his bill to create a termination insurance program and less than four months after Studebaker terminated the pension plan for workers in South Bend.

Keywords:   Employee Retirement Income Security Act, reforms, President’s Committee, Corporate Pension Funds, Albert Gore, Hartke, tax avoidance, pension plan

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