Pension & Benefits News Proposed FY 2020 budget would cut DOL funding by 9.7 percent
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Monday, April 1, 2019

Proposed FY 2020 budget would cut DOL funding by 9.7 percent

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year (FY) 2020 that was released on March 11, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) would receive $10.9 billion—a $1.2 billion or 9.7 percent decrease from the FY 2019 enacted level. Among the changes, the proposed budget targets the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) multiemployer plan program.

The PBGC multiemployer program, which insures the pension benefits of ten million workers, is at risk of insolvency by 2025. As an important step to protect worker pensions, the budget proposes to add new premiums to the multiemployer program, raising about $18 billion in premiums over the ten-year window. This is projected to permit the program to remain solvent over the next 20 years.

In addition, the budget would also rebalance premiums in the single-employer program, which insures pension plans that are maintained by individual employers by freezing, for one year, premium rates for well-funded plans, which have faced numerous premium increases since 2012, and shift the premium burden to underfunded plans that “pose a greater solvency risk to the PBGC.”

IRS funding. President Trump’s FY 2020 budget proposal is calling for an increase in IRS funding. Trump’s FY 2020 budget request proposes $11.5 billion in base funding for the IRS, up from the $11.2 billion currently enacted for FY 2019.

Notably, the President’s budget would provide $290 million for the IRS’s multiyear information technology (IT) modernization efforts. These efforts include updating antiquated IRS infrastructure and integrating its multiple case management and tax processing systems, according to the budget proposal. Further, Trump’s budget request proposes that Congress use a certain funding cap adjustment mechanism to grant additional IRS funding for new and continuing investments to enhance tax enforcement that would generate additional revenue.

Note that presidential budget requests are not binding; rather, the requests offer a legislative proposal for congressional lawmakers.

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