January 11, 2012
For additional information:
Jason Hammersla

Council commends CFTC's revision of business conduct standards

Employer-sponsored retirement plans rely on swap trades to mitigate funding risk, preserve benefits

WASHINGTON, DC — "The American Benefits Council commends the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for its work to help preserve pension plans through revision of business conduct standards under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law," Council President James A. Klein said today.

At a public meeting to discuss regulatory implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, CFTC officials indicated that the business conduct rules have been revised to provide increased protection for pension plans utilizing swaps trades.

"Many workplace retirement plans commonly use swaps to mitigate plan funding and investment risk. Without the current availability of swap trades, defined benefit pension funding obligations would become more volatile and force employers to find other less efficient ways to manage that risk –including setting aside large sums of cash to cover potential funding obligations," Klein said.

"We are pleased that the CFTC has revised the business conduct standards to reflect this practice, which helps sustain defined benefit pension plans, which in turn allow employers provide valuable, long-term retirement security for their employees."

For more information, or to arrange an interview with Council staff, please contact Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications, at or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 422-4652 (cell).

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council’s members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.