With pension funds facing billions of dollars in shortfalls as markets plunge, a range of companies from Ford to Verizon are pushing Congress to suspend portions of a two-year old law they say could force them to make job cuts as they shift scarce money into ailing retirement pools.
The lobbying effort aims to change a 2006 pension reform law as part of any economic stimulus plan in a lame-duck session of Congress that begins next week. Companies warn the current law could force them to tie up large sums of cash they desperately need in the face of a global recession.
Roughly 300 companies and business groups plan to make the request in a letter Wednesday to congressional committees. The authors include some of the nation’s biggest corporate names from a wide range of sectors, including Ford Motor Co., IBM Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc.