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Teamsters Support Pension Legislation

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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.

Recently, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) signed on as a co-sponsor. “I am proud to support the Butch Lewis Act and I commend Jim Hoffa for his leadership,” Rep. King said. “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. It’s time to get started.”

“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 proposed agency, named the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), would provide these loans to “critical and declining” multi-employer 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,” Sen. Brown said. “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.”

For more information, visit www.teamster.org.