NO LONGER ON THE BOARD MEMBER LIST ARE: BOARD MEMBERS
NO LONGER ON THE BOARD MEMBER LIST ARE: BOARD MEMBERS
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The General-Secretary Treasurer of the 600,000 member International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) gave his union’s strongest endorsement for legislation introduced today to prohibit cuts in pensions for workers who have already retired.
“I want to thank Senator Sanders and Representative Kaptur for introducing this much-needed legislation”
IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr. welcomed the introduction of the ‘Keeping Our Pension Promises’ Act by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), as an essential ingredient to help restore retirement security for America’s seniors.
“I want to thank Senator Sanders and Representative Kaptur for introducing this much-needed legislation,” said Roach. “We know that there can be no real retirement security if your pension can be cut after you retire.”
The anti-cutback rule was significantly weakened last year as part of the Omnibus Spending Bill.
“Forty years ago when Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act (ERISA) was passed, this fundamental truth was recognized with the creation of the anti-cutback rule,” said Roach. “Allowing cuts in promised benefits is a ticket to dependence on government assistance.”
The IAM has firsthand experience with a well-run pension plan. The IAM’s National Pension Fund has over 1,750 contributing employers and is the 5th largest multiemployer plan in the U.S. With assets of nearly $11 billion the IAM National Pension Fund provides retirement security to over 90,000 retirees and beneficiaries.
“Tens of thousands of airline workers faced the loss of their pensions in the wake of the 9-11 attacks and the airlines bankruptcies that followed,” said Roach. “We were able to protect those pensions with the IAM National Pension Fund, and we’re ready to protect them yet again with the ‘Keeping Our Pension Promises’ Act.”
“While most pension plans are properly funded, some have funding challenges because of deregulation, bad trade policies and the financial mistakes of Wall Street,” said Roach. “Retirees should not be made to unjustly suffer because of issues that they had no involvement in.”
The IAM represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members and is one of the largest and most politically active industrial trade unions in North America. For more information, visit www.goiam.org.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur announcing the introduction of the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
WASHINGTON – The Pension Rights Center strongly praised Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) for introducing legislation today that would repeal the pension cutback provisions of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The Keep Our Pension Promises Act of 2015 would preserve retirees’ pensions while providing financial relief to troubled multiemployer pension plans, their contributing employers, and the federal pension insurance program, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Unless repealed, the pension cuts authorized by MPRA will be devastating to the financial security of hundreds of thousands of retirees in certain underfunded multiemployer plans.
“By introducing the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, Senator Sanders and Representative Kaptur are taking action to right an injustice that threatens the financial wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of retirees,” said Karen Friedman, executive vice president and policy director for the Pension Rights Center. “We want to thank Senator Sanders, Congresswoman Kaptur, and the legislation’s co-sponsors for recognizing how unfair the pension cutback provisions of MPRA are and for championing their repeal.” Initial co-sponsors include Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Representative Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.), Representative Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.).
Last December, during the waning hours of the 113th Congress, MPRA was rushed through Congress as part of the must-pass “cromnibus” spending bill. Buried in the legislation were provisions that allow trustees of severely underfunded multiemployer pension plans to make unprecedented cuts to retiree benefits, overturning 40 years of pension protections. Members of Congress and the public were not given time to examine these stealth provisions or to debate them. Efforts to get those provisions removed from the spending bill were unsuccessful in the face of an imminent government shutdown.
Since MPRA’s passage, retiree groups around the country have repeatedly called for the cutback provisions to be repealed. More than 100 retirees whose pensions could be cut attended today’s event introducing the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
Frank Bryant, a retiree from North Carolina, spoke at the press conference. “I am 74 years old. I drove a truck for UPS for 31 years and retired in 2003,” said Bryant. “It was back-breaking work. By the end of my career, I think I put in over a million hours of driving in snow, sleet, fog, morning to night, in every condition. What kept me going was knowing that, at the end of my time, I was going to get a pension that was going to allow me to live comfortably in my retirement. If these cuts are allowed to go through, a lot of retirees’ lives will be ruined.”
Retirees came to Washington from Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to show their support of the bill. “This is only the beginning,” said Bryant. “We are going to expand this movement to other unions, and other retirees, and get the retiree cuts stopped.”
See the Pension Rights Center’s fact sheet on why the cutback provisions of MPRA must be repealed and why the Keep Our Pension Promises Act should be passed.
Read Senator Sanders’ press release about the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
– See more at: http://www.pensionrights.org/newsroom/releases/sen-bernie-sanders-and-rep-marcy-kaptur-act-stop-devastating-cuts-retirees-pension#sthash.t4Wn1D8R.dpuf
Local retirees taking pension concerns to Washington
A retired Teamster has helped organize a trip to lobby Congress to repeal part of a 2014 budget provision that would allow multiemployer pension plans to cut monthly pension benefits to retirees.
Local retirees who get pensions from the Central States Pension Fund will travel to Washington this week.
Brad Colesworthy, of Cramerton, has helped organize the trip in an effort to lobby Congress to repeal part of a 2014 budget provision that would allow multiemployer pension plans that are in danger of running out of money to cut monthly pension benefits to retirees.
Colesworthy hopes to take two van loads of retirees to the nation’s capital late Wednesday night and return to Gaston County on Thursday night.
On Thursday, Colesworthy says Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic candidate for president, will introduce legislation to repeal the provision.
Multiemployer pension plans were negotiated by employers and unions. Usually, those employers were part of the same industry, such as trucking or hospitality workers.
Colesworthy, who turns 75 in July, was a Teamsters Union member during his truck driving career, which ended in 2003 after Consolidated Freightways closed in Charlotte.
Local Teamsters held a meeting in Belmont last month over the issue that attracted more than 150 people, Colesworthy said. The issue could affect hundreds of thousands of retirees across the nation.
Congress passed the provision in December 2014 as part of a budget bill to prevent a government shutdown. Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, who represents Gaston and Cleveland counties in the 10th U.S. House District, voted for the measure in order to avoid a government shutdown, according to a release from his office.
You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-869-1823 or www.Twitter.com/TheGazetteKevin
If you can attend the event announcing the introduction of the Keep Our Pension Promises Act in Washington, DC on June 18 at 11 AM, please complete the form below.
Note: The event may be held outdoors. If the press conference is held inside the U.S. Capitol building, we will need to provide your name to allow you access to the building. We’ll keep you updated about the event as details are finalized.
While you’re in Washington, DC, you might want to arrange meetings with your members of Congress to encourage them to support the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
– See more at: http://www.pensionrights.org/forms/rsvp-event-announcing-introduction-keep-our-pension-promises-act#sthash.sMMThHhc.dpuf