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Agricultural News

 Farmer Co-ops Call on Congress to Include Pension Relief to Next COVID-19 Response Package

Fri, 26 Jun 2020 07:25:46 CDT

 Farmer Co-ops Call on Congress to Include Pension Relief to Next COVID-19 Response Package The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives called on Congress to include provisions to provide funding relief to have single-employer pension plans in the next legislative package to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The call came in a letter sent today to House and Senate leadership.

“Many of the approximately 2,000 farmer cooperatives in the United States continue to provide single-employer pension plan benefits to their employees,” the letter states. “t has been increasingly challenging to fund those benefits in recent years given historically low interest rates…and escalating Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) premiums. For example, one NCFC member reports that those two factors are leading to a 130% increase in PBGC premiums just this year alone.”

The letter notes that the House-passed Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act included provisions to address these issues.

Among policies that NCFC letter recommends are:
• Lengthening the amortization period for funding shortfalls from 7 years to 15;
• Extending interest rate stabilization beyond 2020;
• Additional measures such as consideration of lowering PBGC premiums.
“Those provisions would assist businesses such as farmer cooperatives continue to offer pension benefits to their employees without severely draining critical working and investment capital,” the letter concludes.

About NCFC

Since 1929, NCFC has been the voice of America's farmer cooperatives. Our members are regional and national farmer cooperatives, which are in turn composed of nearly 2,000 local farmer cooperatives across the country. NCFC members also include 26 state and regional councils of cooperatives. Farmer cooperatives allow individual farmers the ability to own and lead organizations that are essential for continued competitiveness in both the domestic and international markets.

America’s farmer-owned cooperatives provide a comprehensive array of services for their members. These diverse organizations handle, process and market virtually every type of agricultural commodity. They also provide farmers with access to infrastructure necessary to manufacture, distribute and sell a variety of farm inputs. Additionally, they provide credit and related financial services, including export financing.



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