WASHINGTON (12/16/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) urged President George W. Bush to sign a bill that would give organizations some flexibility in shoring up pension plans hurt by the current economic upheaval. H.R. 7327, the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act was approved last week by the U.S. Congress to amend the Pension Protection Act of 2006. One of the changes would allow organizations with defined benefit pension plans to phase in funding targets over three years. CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica wrote in his letter to the President: “The decline in the market value of equity assets held in defined benefit plans has caused plans that were once fully funded to fall below the capitalization levels required under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. “As a result, many organizations face the prospect of being required to shift operating capital into their defined benefit pension accounts.” The broader three-year timeframe is critical to viability of existing plans during the country’s current difficult economic times, said Mica, and he urged Bush to sign the act into law.