Congressman Donald Norcross

Representing the 1st District of New Jersey
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Norcross, Roe Introduce Bipartisan GROW Act to Give Retirement Options to Workers

Feb 14, 2018
News Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ) and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) introduced H.R. 4997, the Give Retirement Options to Workers (GROW) Act, a bipartisan effort that is designed to modernize and strengthen the multiemployer pension system for the future.

The bipartisan GROW Act will safeguard the multiemployer pension plan system by authorizing the creation of a new type of retirement option that combines the key features of defined benefit and defined contribution plans.

Under the GROW Act, workers will still receive lifetime income, and importantly, the benefits that workers earned under a traditional multiemployer plan are protected even after they are shifted into a “composite” plan under the GROW Act. For employers, the GROW Act offers greater stability by eliminating the uncertainty and volatility currently faced in the multiemployer system. Under the plan, employers will negotiate a fixed contribution rate and limit their risk, and employees will gain financial security. Ultimately, the GROW Act offers a fiscally responsible way forward, enabling pensions to maintain fiscal solvency. The GROW Act should be an integral part of larger reforms to the multiemployer pension system.

“Millions of workers deserve a safe, secure retirement and, at the same time, employers deserve predictability and flexibility without excess liability. By focusing on the partnership between employees and employers, our bipartisan solution combines key features of defined benefit and defined contribution plans and is a win-win-win – for employees, employers and our economy as a whole,” said Congressman Norcross. “I’m an electrician by trade who participated in the multiemployer pension system for 37 years, as both a rank-and-file worker and a negotiator. The GROW Act offers another tool in the toolbox for workers to grow their retirement savings and employers to grow their businesses.”

“For decades, families have relied on multiemployer pension plans for retirement, but the multiemployer pension system as currently structured is irreparably broken,” said Congressman Roe. “The current structure makes it more difficult for employees and employers to modernize their systems to provide the retirement security necessary for hardworking Americans. That’s why I’m proud to partner with Rep. Norcross to unveil the GROW Act. This important, bipartisan proposal is widely supported by retirement security advocates and will provide a new vehicle for retirement savings that combines the best components of defined benefit and defined contribution plans. This plan will create a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario for employers and employees, and I look forward to working to ensure composite plans are a key reform adopted to ensure the multiemployer pension system is around for future retirees.”

Note: In January, Reps. Norcross and Roehosted a bipartisan roundtable discussion to unveil their plan to give retirement options to workers. It focused on the risks facing the multiemployer pension plan system by welcoming participants from General Sheet Metal (GSM), North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) and Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).


Contact: Ally Kehoe, Communications Director