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Teamsters Applaud Introduction of Pension Accountability Act By Sen. Portman


(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters Union applauds the efforts of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to pass legislation that would guarantee thousands of retirees and workers threatened by deep cuts to their pensions a meaningful voice in deciding their own future, without the threat of the Treasury Department nullifying their decision if it judges that the insolvency of the fund would be “systemically important” by causing a liability of more than $1 billion to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

The Pension Accountability Act seeks to fix changes to multiemployer pension law that were attached to the omnibus spending bill passed in December. The Multi-employer Pension Reform Act (MPRA) allows the Treasury Department to overrule any vote taken by pension participants on proposed cuts in large plans. Portman’s bill would change that part of the law by making any vote by participants binding and not subject to overrule by the Treasury Department. The legislation would also change the law so that only those ballots returned in any vote are counted.

“On behalf of our more than 400,000 retirees who face an uncertain future that may include deep cuts to the pensions they spent their entire careers earning, I would like to thank Sen. Portman for standing up for their right to have a voice in the process,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “While Sen. Portman’s legislation is a step in the right direction, I believe a more comprehensive pension protection bill like Sen. Sanders’ and Rep. Kaptur’s Keep Our Pension Promises Act, is the best option for our retirees.  And, it is the best option to undo the assault on their earned pension benefits.”

The Keep Our Pension Promises Act (KOPPA) would protect workers and retirees from cuts to their earned retirement benefits. The legislation would roll back the provisions that were slipped into the fiscal 2015 spending bill approved by Congress last year.

KOPPA would restore anti-cutback rules so that retirees in financially troubled multi-employer pension plans would be protected from having their earned benefits cut. It ensures that the safety net system supported mostly by employers does not shift to one funded entirely by taxpayers.

In order to shore up the long-term sustainability of the existing federal pension insurance program, KOPPA creates a $30 billion legacy fund over 10 years, paid for by closing two tax loopholes used almost exclusively by the super-rich to avoid paying taxes.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at