(WASHINGTON) – Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa reiterated the union’s support for critical legislation that would establish a new agency within the U.S. Treasury Department authorized to issue bonds in order to finance loans to pension plans in financial distress.
The “Butch Lewis Act of 2017,” which was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) on Nov. 16, would provide a path to fixing the country’s growing pension crisis by providing the financial support the plans need to avoid insolvency.
“This is the only legislative solution that would keep intact the pensions that our actives and retirees have earned – there would be no cuts,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “That is why our active and retired members have been meeting with members of Congress over the past year to fight for their retirement security and they will continue to do so until this legislation becomes law.”
The agency, named the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), would provide these loans to “critical and declining” multiemployer pension funds. The loan terms will require plans to make interest payments for 29 years with final interest and principal repayment due in year 30.
“These retirees sacrificed pay raises and benefits so that when they retired, they could do so with dignity,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). “They earned every dollar of their retirement, and out of no fault of their own, the money they earned is at risk. They held up their end of the bargain and it’s time Congress held up ours and ensure they can keep what they’ve earned.”
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 www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.