August 11, 2021

The Senate-passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure package (HR 3684) gives another five years of interest rate relief to single-employer defined benefit (DB) plans. The bipartisan deal extends provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) (Pub. L. No. 117-2) narrowing the interest rate corridor to 5% from 2020 (or, optionally, from 2021 or 2022) through 2025. Under the new bill, the corridor will stay the same until 2030, then widen by five percentage points each year until it reaches 30% in 2035. The legislation makes no other changes to ARPA’s DB plan relief.

Just after passing the infrastructure measure, the Senate approved Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget plan in a party-line vote. That measure calls for passing much of President Biden’s “human infrastructure” agenda. Although the House isn’t in session and isn’t scheduled to return until Sept. 20, the chamber may reconvene earlier to vote on the two measures. The infrastructure bill will likely face pushback from progressive Democrats — who want to include things omitted from the Senate version — and from conservative Republicans, leaving the outlook uncertain.

Related resources

Non-Mercer resources

  • HR 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (US Senate, Aug. 1, 2021)
  • Pub. L. No. 117-2, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Congress, March 11, 2021)

Mercer Law & Policy resources


Margaret Berger
by Margaret Berger

Partner, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Geoff Manville
by Geoff Manville

Partner, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

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