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  #411  
Old 01-11-2018, 02:29 PM
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ALASKA IRONWORKERS

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...a-application/

Quote:
Breaking News: Alaska Ironworkers Resubmit MPRA Application

Spoiler:
In April, 2017 the Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan of Anchorage, AK filed to cut benefits under MPRA. In October, 2017 they withdrew that application. Today a refiled application popped up on the MPRA website.


Excerpts for the plan’s latest 5500 filing:

Plan Name: Alaska Ironworkers Pension Plan
EIN/PN: 91-6123695/001
Total participants @ 6/30/16: 824 including:
Retirees: 568
Separated but entitled to benefits: 104
Still working: 152

Asset Value (Market) @ 7/1/15: $56,786,143
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.34%) @ 7/1/15: $127,162,445 including:
Retirees: $95,307,862
Separated but entitled to benefits: $19,827,907
Still working: $12,026,676

Funded ratio: 44.66%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 7/1/15: $70,376,302

Asset Value (Market) as of 6/30/16: $49,524,313
Contributions: $2,276,515
Payouts: $7,451,069
Expenses: $754,609
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  #412  
Old 01-12-2018, 04:47 PM
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https://patch.com/ohio/avon-oh/pensi...cy-kaptur-says

Quote:
'Pension Plans Face Looming Crisis,' Rep. Marcy Kaptur Says
"The retirement income on which millions of Americans depend is in jeopardy..." she said in a letter to Paul Ryan.
Spoiler:
LORAIN, OH — Tom Brady, who is quick to note that he is not the quarterback, spent three decades working with Roadway Express, an Ohio trucking company. Even while he accepted a frozen pay, he did so with the promise that it would benefit his pension. Nowhe's worried that in a few years, he may have no pension to rely on.

"I've got six grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and my wife and I support them and help them as much as we can," he said. "My biggest thing is during negotiations for contracts it was put in there that this money went in there, to the pension fund, instead of an increase in our wages. That way we'd have that money when we retired. Now somebody has squandered that money due to no fault of the retirees, the people paying into it."

Representative Marcy Kaptur thinks people like Brady, and their pensions, have reason to be concerned. She believes there is a coming shortfall in payments to pension plans and Congress needs to address it. She's urging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to take quick action to protect Americans' retirement income.

"Congress needs to step up and secure the pension benefits these workers have earned," said Kaptur in her first floor speech of 2018. "And there should be no pension cuts for workers who contributed to their own plans, and should have a right to the money that they invested."

Specifically, Kaptur wants Ryan to throw support behind the Butch Lewis 2017 Act, which would protect American pension funds from cuts. The legislation has garnered some bipartisan support and the approval of Senator Bernie Sanders.

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Kaptur said that if Congress does nothing millions of Americans could lose their pension benefits. She notes that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Company has said it could not support even one pension fund should one fail.

"Congress can no longer kick the can down the road. This problem does not go away if Congress continues to ignore it. Rather the financial stress mounts for the retirement funds and of course for the retirees and their families," Kaptur said in her speech.

Read Kaptur's full letter to Ryan by clicking here.
https://kaptur.house.gov/sites/kaptu...-%20Signed.pdf
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  #413  
Old 01-15-2018, 11:09 AM
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http://labornotes.org/2018/01/attack-workers-retirement

Quote:
The Attack on Workers' Retirement
January 12, 2018 / Dean Baker
Spoiler:
.....
PRIVATE SECTOR WOES
Most private sector pensions are from single-employer plans, which are generally well-funded. Employers go after them out of greed, not out of necessity.


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If they face a shortfall, the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) provides a backstop that would give most retirees the vast majority of the money they’re owed.

This is not the case for the roughly 10 million workers and retirees in multi-employer plans—often in industries such as construction, mining, grocery, hotels, and health care where there are many small companies, each too small for an individual plan.

Some of the multi-employer plans, many of which are union-managed, face serious shortfalls. The PBGC guarantee for these plans is far less generous, with a maximum payment of $15,015 a year for a worker with 35 years of service and just $8,580 for a worker with 20 years. (The maximum for single-employer plans is $64,432.)

Furthermore, the PBGC’s multi-employer fund (which gets no government money, just small employer contributions) itself faces serious shortfalls, so it may not be able to support even this guarantee.

The biggest fund now in danger is the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund, which includes 63,000 active Teamsters and more than 200,000 retirees and spouses currently collecting benefits. The plan is on course to be out of money by 2025.

Under ERISA, it was illegal for a fund to cut the benefits of someone already retired. But in 2014 Congress passed the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (MPRA), which gave troubled funds that right.

In 2015 the Central States Fund proposed to cut benefits for current retirees as much as 60 percent. Largely in response to well-organized pressure from retirees, the Treasury Department rejected the plan, but it is clear that cuts will have to be made at some point unless Congress and the companies in the plan can be pressured to put up more money.

Teamster retirees in an upstate New York plan have already seen their pensions cut by 30 percent.
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  #414  
Old 01-17-2018, 09:59 AM
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IRONWORKERS LOCAL 16

https://burypensions.wordpress.com/2...a-application/

Quote:

Breaking News: Ironworkers Local 16 Resubmit MPRA Application
Spoiler:
After being denied on their first try, today a refiled application to reduce benefits for participants in the Ironworkers Local 16 Pension Plan of Towson, MD popped up on the MPRA website.


Excerpts from latest 5500 filing:

Plan Name: Ironworkers Local 16 Pension plan
EIN/PN: 52-6148924/001
Total participants @ 12/31/16: 1,078 including:
Retirees: 627
Separated but entitled to benefits: 144
Still working: 307

Asset Value (Market) @ 1/1/16: 81,295,236
Value of liabilities using RPA rate (3.28%) @ 1/1/16: $194,297,552 including:
Retirees: $148,438,262
Separated but entitled to benefits: $20,242,587
Still working: $25,616,703

Funded ratio: 41.84%
Unfunded Liabilities as of 1/1/16: $113,002,316

Asset Value (Market) as of 12/31/16: $78,965,081
Contributions: $3,144,697
Payouts: $11,335,394
Expenses: $871,897


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  #415  
Old 01-18-2018, 03:29 PM
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http://www.pensionrights.org/sites/d...n_12-20-18.pdf

Quote:
Joint Statement of AARP, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace
Workers, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Musicians for Pension Security,
the National United Committee to Protect Pensions, the National Retirees Legislative
Network, the Pension Rights Center, the United Steelworkers, and the Western Conference
of Teamsters Pension Trust Opposing Composite Pension Legislation
December 20, 2017
Spoiler:
Our organizations, representing tens of millions of workers and retirees, strongly support the
passage this year of critical legislation to make available loans to severely-underfunded
multiemployer pension plans to pay earned pensions to retirees and their families, earn
investment market returns to repay the loans, and fund the federal pension insurance program,
the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Approximately 10 million workers and their
families are covered by multiemployer pension plans. These workers worked a lifetime to earn
their retirement benefits and should not have their retirement years shattered because Congress
failed to act to protect their pensions.
At the same time, we strongly oppose efforts to attach “composite plan” proposals that put
earned benefits at risk to this legislation. The composite legislative proposal does not ensure
that earned pensions will be fully paid in either existing multiemployer pension plans or in newly
created plans. The composite proposals put benefits at risk, even in those multiemployer plans
that are well-funded today. Advocates for composite plans argue that their proposals would
preserve existing plans for workers and retirees while creating innovative plans for the future.
But what they are not saying is that money that would be needed for the new composite plans
will be taken from money needed to fund existing plans – likely leading to underfunding of both
plans – without adequate benefit protections. Proposals to limit composite plans to certain
industries do not solve the problem as these plans will face the same incentives to cut earned
benefits.
The composite plan legislative proposal, while creating new risks for existing plans, would
continue to permit underfunded existing plans to cut retiree pensions. Benefits under the new
composite plans would not be guaranteed, as plan trustees have broad authority to reduce earned
pensions, including for retirees already receiving pensions. While the Treasury Department and
plan participants must approve any proposed pension cuts in existing plans, the participant vote
does not follow democratic voting principles and unfairly counts those who do not vote as
having voted to cut pensions.
We support the need to have pension plans that work for all parties – workers, retirees,
employers and unions. We are open to discussing pension designs that encourage employers to
join and contribute to multiemployer plans without unfairly eliminating the fundamental
principle of secure earned pensions. We urge you to pass legislation to improve the funding of
and protect the earned pensions of retirees covered by severely-underfunded plans – and
say “no” to composite plans that put earned benefits at risk.
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  #416  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:29 PM
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https://urbanmilwaukee.com/pressrele...pension-plans/

Quote:
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Introduces Legislation to Strengthen Pension Plans
The reform would provide additional funding to protect pensions by imposing fees on financial firms convicted of criminal acts

Spoiler:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today introduced the Pension Stability Act to generate new revenue to protect the pensions of more than 40 million workers and retirees—including the 25,000 workers and retirees in Wisconsin participating in the Central States Pension Fund.

Current law requires banks convicted of financial crimes to seek a waiver from the Department of Labor in order to manage retirement plan funds. Senator Baldwin’s reform would impose fees on banks seeking the waiver. The new revenue generated from the fees would be directed to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which insures multiemployer and single employer pension plans. The PBGC’s multiemployer pension program, which covers over 1 million participants, is projected to run out of money by 2025.

“We must keep our promise to workers and retirees by making sure they receive the pensions they have earned. I am introducing this reform to address the financial challenges of the pension insurance program and to generate new revenue to fund worker pensions,” said Senator Baldwin. “Financial institutions convicted of a crime should have to pay a penalty that will provide funding to support workers and retirees who saw massive cuts to their pensions through no fault of their own. This reform helps us keep our promise to workers.”

Senator Baldwin has cosponsored the Butch Lewis Act, led by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), to ensure Teamsters and thousands of other American retirees and workers can keep the retirement they have earned so their families and livelihoods are not put at risk. The Pension Stability Act would complement the Butch Lewis Act by providing additional funding to PBGC, shoring up worker pension plans.

“This legislation complements our existing pension reform efforts. Hardworking people should never have to doubt their retirement security and we need to make sure their pensions are fully funded. We must take action to do right by Wisconsin workers and retirees,” said Senator Baldwin.

The Pension Stability Act is supported by the Pension Rights Center and co-sponsored by Senator Brown.

More information on the Pension Stability Act is available here.
https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/imo/m...ne%20Pager.pdf

Spoiler:
The Pension Stability Act
The bill would provide additional funding to the PBGC by imposing a user fee on QPAM waiver
applications sought by financial firms convicted of criminal acts
Background on QPAM Waivers
A “qualified professional asset manager” (QPAM) is an entity, such as a financial services firm,
that manages the interests of an employee benefit plan in an investment fund. Under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), this would be a prohibited transaction if it
were not for a class exemption issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) that permits such
transactions.
Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-14 (PTE 84-14) details the requirements for entities to
serve as QPAMs. If, however, an entity, which broadly includes its affiliates, meeting those
requirements has been convicted of a crime, it must seek an individual exemption from DOL,
which is often called a QPAM waiver, in order to continue working with retirement plan assets.
DOL has granted exemptions to all but one firm seeking them since 1997. These individual
exemptions are tailored specifically to each firm and have become more extensive in recent
years. Crimes committed by firms seeking a QPAM waiver range from currency price fixing to
false tax filings to securities fraud.
QPAM Waiver User Fees
Currently, DOL does not charge user fees for reviewing applications for individual exemptions.
This bill would change that practice for financial firms that are convicted on criminal charges,
thereby violating Section I(g) of PTE 84-14. This bill would direct the Secretary of Labor to
establish regulations setting a user fee schedule based on the severity of the crime committed
with a minimum $1 million user fee. For repeat offenders, the user fee would be increased by the
number of prior waivers sought.
Strengthens PBGC
This bill would direct that any user fees collected by DOL would be directed to the
multiemployer program at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Transfers would
be directed to this program until such time as the multiemployer program was in a substantially
similar financial condition as the single employer program, at which time the collected user fees
would be divided equally between the programs. If the finances of the programs diverge at a later
date, the Director of the PBGC and the PBGC Board would be able to reallocate this revenue to
match the programs’ financial needs.
This bill is a novel approach to shore up the PBGC’s finances because raising PBGC premiums
substantially on multiemployer plans raises the expenses and exacerbates the already-dire
financial condition of many multiemployer plans since premiums are paid out of fund assets. In
PBGC’s FY2016 Projections Report, PBGC explained that the multiemployer program is
projected to run out of money in 2025. Though this bill will not completely solve PBGC’s
financial issues, it is one critical step in addressing its projected deficit without undermining the
current system.
The Pension Stability Act is supported by the Pension Rights Center.
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  #417  
Old 01-21-2018, 01:00 PM
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http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.3768872

Quote:
Lawmakers pushing legislation to save union pension funds
Spoiler:
A year ago, Teamsters Local 707 retirees suffered a fate that could soon hit hundreds of thousands of union workers: Their pension fund crashed.

Over the past 12 months, the roughly 4,000 retired short-haul truckers who paid into Local 707’s pension fund for the entirety of their careers have had to survive off monthly checks slashed to a third of their former value.

“It’s been incredibly hard. Some of our members have lost their homes,” said retiree Edward Hernandez, 67, whose check went from $2,422 to $721 — before city and state taxes.

But recently Hernandez got news that gave him some hope.

Local 707's once booming pension fund runs out of money
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is pushing legislation to save union pension funds, including that of Local 707.

A bipartisan group that includes Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (pictured at mic.) and Rep. Pete King (R- L.I.) are trying to help unions stay afloat and save their pension funds.
A bipartisan group that includes Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) (pictured at mic.) and Rep. Pete King (R- L.I.) are trying to help unions stay afloat and save their pension funds. (FLICKR/SENATORSCHUMER)
Introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) on Nov. 16, the Butch Lewis Act would fix the country's growing pension crisis by peeling off payments to existing retirees and shoring them up with loans financed by U.S. Treasury Bonds.

And the legislation is backed by two of the most senior politicians in Congress: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Pete King (R- L.I.).

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“Workers and their families who rely on these plans could lose or see a reduction in benefits earned over a lifetime of work, through no fault of their own,” Schumer said at a recent press conference outside the local’s Long Island headquarters.

Gov. Cuomo to seek eco-friendly pension fund
“The result is that pensions ... would be cut down to the bone — putting their families’ financial security and future at risk,” he said.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpi
Edward Hernandez among fellow retirees from Teamsters Local 707 had their monthly pension payments cut in half under the 2014 MERPA law. (SUSAN WATTS/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
And Schumer noted, after Congress passed “a massive tax reform bill that delivered tax giveaways primarily to the mega-rich,” it should be able to solve a “middle-class pension problem.”

The Butch Lewis Act would establish a new agency, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration, within the U.S. Treasury Department. The agency would be authorized to issue bonds in order to finance low-interest loans to pension plans in financial distress.

Plans like Local 707, which have already bottomed out, could apply to be made whole.

City pension fund spends $450M on mortgages
Others, like the Central States Pension that covers 407,000 union workers in the Midwest, would be available to avoid a financial crash, said Bob Amsden, a retired teamster who has been pushing Congress for a solution to the looming crisis.

Home of Teamsters Local 707 at 14 Front Street, Hempstead, New York. Feb. 24, 2017.
Home of Teamsters Local 707 at 14 Front Street, Hempstead, New York. Feb. 24, 2017. (DAVID WEXLER/FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
“A recent analysis showed that there’s $2.7 trillion in economic income from retirees and $1.5 billion in federal taxes paid from retirees,” he said. “That’s a lot of economic money to be lost if pension funds collapse.”

Multi-employer pension plans like Local 707 and Central States were lucrative for decades — before deregulation and Wall Street fluctuations brought the industrywide plans to the brink of disaster.

The New York State Teamster Conference Pension and Retirement Fund, which has more than 34,000 participants, is also in danger of not meeting their full obligations to retirees, Schumer said.

Pension fund overhaul seeks to improve workers’ wages, safeguards
King also called on Congress to move on Butch Lewis.

“Protecting retirees who worked hard for their pensions should not be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats should work together to allow workers to live their retirement years in dignity,” the Long Island Republican said. “It’s time to get started.”
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  #418  
Old 01-28-2018, 06:35 PM
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http://www.norwalkreflector.com/Poli...tream&lp=1&p=1

Quote:
Sen. Brown plans to bring Ohioan facing massive pension cut to Tuesday's event
Spoiler:
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said today he plans to bring Ohio resident Rita Lewis, the widow of Butch Lewis, to the State of the Union address next Tuesday.


Her presence there, Brown said, will be an attempt to draw attention to the hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees whose pensions are at risk.

Brown’s bill to restore these pensions is named after Butch Lewis.

“Rita has rallied on behalf of her husband, Butch, and thousands of other workers who are now forced to fight for the pensions they’ve earned,” Brown said. “If we truly value a hard day’s work in this country, we can start by keeping our promise to Rita, Teamsters, miners and so many whose retirement security is at risk.”

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Butch Lewis, was a Vietnam War veteran who worked for 40 years as a trucker and Teamster. He was the head of his Teamsters Local 100 in Evendale, Ohio, where he led the fight to preserve his fellow Teamsters’ pensions. He died in 2015, and now Rita continues his fight, lobbying for Teamsters’ retirement security.

“I hope my presence brings to light our efforts to pass the Butch Lewis Act,” she said. “I hope Ohioans will look to me and see the thousands of retirees fighting to save the pensions we worked for, paid for and were promised. Losing my husband in such an untimely, heartbreaking manner has awakened the passion and conviction to never give up, and I won’t until we pass this bill.”

Numerous Ohio pension plans, including the massive Central States Teamsters Pension Plan, the United Mine Workers Pension Plan, the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Plan, the Ohio Southwest Carpenters Pension Plan and the Bakers and Confectioners Pension Plan are currently on the brink of failure and threatened by massive cuts.

Brown said his legislation, the Butch Lewis Act, would put the pension plans back on solid footing and ensure they can meet their obligations to current retirees and workers for decades to come, without cuts. A version of the bill was also introduced in the House of Representatives.

According to Brown, the Butch Lewis Act would:

• Put failing pension plans back on solid ground to ensure they can meet their commitments to retirees today and workers for decades to come.

• Do so without cutting a single cent from the benefits retirees have earned.

• Put safeguards in place to encourage pensions to remain strong so they can be there for today’s workers when they retire.

If nothing is done to the plans, they will fail and retirees will face massive cuts to the benefits they earned over decades of work, Brown said. If the plans are allowed to fail, not only will they no longer be able to pay promised benefits, but taxpayers would be at risk of having to pay billions because the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) would be on the hook for billions of dollars it cannot pay, the senator added.

PBGC is the arm of the federal government that insures pension plans.


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  #419  
Old 01-31-2018, 05:56 PM
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http://wamc.org/post/senate-minority...opments-albany

Quote:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Announces Teamsters Pension Developments In Albany
Spoiler:
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer was in Albany today, joining with Teamsters who have suffered cuts to their pension benefits and are at risk of losing even more.

WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was at the Albany Labor Temple.

According to Schumer’s office, the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension Fund was supposed to pay out an average of $5,000 per month for a retiree with 30 years of service. Approximately 5,500 Capital Region Teamsters from Local 294 are part of the fund. "What we had done in America all along: you worked very hard, you put money in, and now, they're telling you the money isn't there and you have to be cut significantly. And that is unfair, and that is wrong. It is against what America is all about. Plain and simple."

Schumer, the Senate Democratic leader, says the benefits were cut by 30 percent last year. He fears more cuts could happen.

Teamster Jimmy Herrick of Canajoharie has been with the union 40 years, and says tightening his belt has been difficult. "But we did a little better than some other people account of our age. See, I'm 78. If I'd been 80 they wouldn't have bothered the pension. It's a kick in the side. You know you get used to what you're gonna have, you know, and then you gotta cut back. It's not fair."

Schumer traces the problem back to Wall Street speculation during the 2008 financial crisis along with structural shifts in the economy. His office says that has put New York multiemployer pension plans in peril. "Why should the people in this audience and the hundreds of thousands literally of others they represent pray the price? There's even a danger the whole thing could fail."

Schumer's solution: "The Butch Lewis Act," which... "...would restore the cuts to your pension and make sure that you can live a life without worrying about in the future. And it's only fair and it's only right. And it would help, I suppose almost everybody in this audience, as well as the many other thousands in 294, as well as the hundreds of thousands across the country. The Butch Lewis Act puts the New York Teamsters Plan back on financial stability."

Schumer says the bill is under negotiation. It would create a new office within the Treasury Department called the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA). The PRA would allow pension plans to borrow the money they need to remain solvent and continue providing retirement security for retirees and workers for decades to come, including Teamster Paul Abrams of Niskayuna. "It's a tough situation that Schumer is putting himself in there. I know he'll try very hard, but nothing is guaranteed with this government."
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  #420  
Old 01-31-2018, 06:04 PM
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BAILOUT

http://www.ttnews.com/articles/sen-c...on-rescue-plan

Quote:
Sen. Charles Schumer Pitches Teamsters Pension Rescue Plan
Spoiler:
Cuts made last year in the pension payments to retired Teamsters could be restored under federal legislation being touted by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Schumer, (D-N.Y.), came to Albany, N.Y., on Jan. 29 to advocate for legislation shoring up the finances of the struggling Teamsters pension fund, so it and other multi-employer pension funds can continue to pay promised benefits.

The proposed Butch Lewis Act would establish a new office of pension rehabilitation administration within the Department of the Treasury that would have the ability to lend money to troubled pension plans to keep them solvent, financing the loans by selling U.S. Treasury bonds on the open market.

RELATED: Lawmakers pushing legislation to save union pension funds

“I am confident that with this bill, we could put multi-employer pension plans back on track and prevent further drastic cuts to retirees’ hard-earned savings, including those here in the Capital Region,” said Schumer, the Senate minority leader, during an appearance at the Teamsters’ “Labor Temple” in Albany.

Approximately 5,500 Capital Region Teamsters from Local 294 are participants in the Teamsters national fund, including 2,400 retirees and more than 3,100 active members.

After a vote in September — from which many union members abstained — the New York State Teamster Conference Pension and Retirement Fund cut benefits by up to several thousand dollars per year per retiree, with the pension’s funding shortfall being blamed on poor stock market returns following the 2008 recession. Statewide, the pension fund represents 16,000 retirees and 18,000 active members.

“For years, these plans offered working families a nest egg in their retirement,” Schumer said. “But today, everything has changed, with pension plans being slashed and with the risk of future, deeper cuts. Teamsters in the Capital Region paid into this program with the promise that they would be able to retire with financial security. Now thousands of Teamsters are facing a financial nightmare — cuts to their hard-earned retirement savings they depend on.”

RELATED: Retired Teamsters facing dramatic pension cuts see hope in new federal legislation

Butch Lewis, for whom the legislation is named, was a retired Teamsters local president from Ohio who advocated for pension reform and who died in 2015. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, (D-Ohio), was the bill’s original sponsor.

“This would reinstate the cuts that were made,” said John Bulgaro, president of Albany-headquartered Teamsters Local 294. “(Schumer) is confident we can get something done on it, so we’re supporting the senator’s proposal.”

Bulgaro said there are other proposals and Teamsters don’t know which one — or what combination of proposals — will provide a solution. The majority of support for the act is coming from Democrats, who still must persuade most of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate to consider it.

“We’re in favor of any plan that can reinstate the cuts that were put in place,” Bulgaro said. “This is a nationwide problem and not just a Teamster problem. It applies to any of the multi-employer pension funds.”

Other multi-employer funds facing similar financial problems include the United Mine Workers pension fund.

Multi-employer pension funds are governed by boards that are balanced equally between labor and employer representatives, said Bulgaro, who is a pension trustee.

“It’s been very difficult for me for the simple reason that a lot of these other guys are getting pensions from $800 to $1,000 a month, and then you’re cutting it,” said retired UPS employee and pension advocate Joe Ready of Leeds in Greene County. “The majority of these people don’t receive a big pension.”

“Say this doesn’t go through. Say there’s a million Teamsters. If they don’t have this, they go on food stamps and welfare,” Ready said.

UPS ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest North American for-hire carriers.
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...ns-need-be-ne/

Quote:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: Pension protections need to be in new spending bill
Spoiler:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said Tuesday that the issue of pensions should be in the final spending bill lawmakers need to pass by Feb. 8 to keep the government funded.

“When you look at rural issues and the industrial Midwest, which feel particularly left behind, this issue of pensions is critical. We’ve got to fix it,” Ms. Heitkamp, North Dakota Democrat, said on CNN.

“We want this in the final passage of the bill that’s going to basically fund government,” she added.

Ms. Heitkamp supports the Butch Lewis Act sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat, which would protect employer-sponsored pensions for workers. A 2014 spending bill signed by former President Barack Obama included language to cut pensions by up to 30 percent or more if the company was in financial trouble. Some retirees have already seen cuts to their pensions.

“That’s why it’s important for people like us to say, look, there are other issues that affect families. These are families that would be devastated by this level of [a] cut in their pension,” Ms. Heitkamp said.

Democrats pushed for a stand-alone vote on this bill prior to the Christmas recess, but they were unsuccessful.
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