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The Nation | THE ENRON INQUIRY

Bill Would Add Options for Retirement Accounts

January 18, 2002|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez) proposed changes in pension law Thursday to give workers more flexibility to invest retirement savings and prevent a repeat of losses suffered in the collapse of Enron Corp.

Employees who have vested in a company's retirement plan would be allowed to diversify their employer's contributions and not be forced to hold company stock, Miller said. And employers would have to give notice before freezing workers' access to their retirement accounts; those "lockdown" periods could last no more than 10 business days.

His proposal is one of several in Congress aimed at avoiding Enron-style meltdowns for employees' retirement savings.

As the stock price plummeted last year, Enron employees and retirees helplessly watched their life savings dissolve because the company barred them from selling Enron shares from retirement accounts.

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