IBT Backs Plan to Allow Some Pension Cuts

February 26, 2013: The Hoffa administration has signed on to a joint employer-union proposal to allow "deeply troubled" pension funds to slash accrued benefits, even for Teamsters who have already retired.

This proposal, which could be aimed squarely at the Teamster Central States Fund, comes from the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, a committee of employers, unions and pension plans.

UPS is a prominent member of the group, which also includes several pension funds, employer groups, and some unions.

The group's proposal is to change federal law to allow "deeply troubled" plans, those in danger of going insolvent in the next 20 years, to drastically slash benefits. 

These Pension Funds could slash benefits to as low as just 10% above the guaranteed rate set by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. For a retiree with 30 credit years, that rate is currently less than $1100 per month! 

If new legislation along these lines is approved, the Central States Fund could eventually slash pensions by over 50%.

Under present law, that kind of cut in accrued benefits is illegal.

The Teamsters Union, the Central States Fund and the Western Conference of Teamsters Fund have joined with employers and some other unions to back this proposal.

The justification is to avoid having pension funds go insolvent down the road. 

This is a worthy goal but the only "solution" put forward is to slash earned pensions.

Solutions Not Bailouts is the title of the full report issued by the pension committee. Many of its proposals are positive and reasonable. But the central proposal could be a dagger to tens of thousands of Central States Teamsters. 

Consider the case of Greg Smith, an Ohio Teamster who retired from YRC after 29.5 years with a monthly pension of $3019.

If Central States goes bankrupt, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation would pay Smith a monthly pension of about $1100.

The "alternative" being backed by the Teamsters would allow the Central States to cut Smith's pension to as low as $1210!

"Our union should be fighting for legislation that protects our pensions. We all know that Central States is in trouble. No one expects miracles. But the whole point of having a union is to fight for a square deal. This is just a surrender," Smith said.

It's not too late for the Teamsters Union to change course. The pension proposal is in its early stages. But Teamster members and retirees need to make their voices heard.

Millions of workers, retirees and our families depend on union pensions. Our union should be working other unions and seniors' groups to increase PBGC protections for our pensions, not backing legislation so our own union pension funds can sock it to us. That's not a bailout, it's just common sense.

Click here to download a full copy of the report, "Solutions, Not Bailouts."

To help us work to protect good Teamster pensions, join TDU.


"Hoffa and the IBT need to be fighting to protect our pension benefits, not helping the companies and Central States find ways of weaseling out on what they owe us.

"Changes may be coming but we need a leadership that puts members' first and has a plan for protecting our retirement future and doesn't just bow down to what the companies want."

Michelle Glessner, ABF
Local 957, Dayton, Ohio

Comments

What recourse would retirees have under the Multiemployer Committtee plan? Retirees lack representation (because they can't vote). 

What a joke! I don't know about anyone else, but $1210 instead of $1100 isn't getting me excited! Hoffa's retirement is protected though, right? I've got 25yrs in at 50, it kills me to watch my pension contributions go into a fund thats going to fail by the time I go to retire, if not before!...Just ain't right!!!

i say "proposed" pension cuts becuz that's all they can be, "PROPOSED". beyond the point of being illegal, and ANY politician who votes for passage would be committing suicide, the members would be up in ARMS. nobody could TAKE the $ we worked hard for all OUR years of blood, sweat & service. for the companies and OUR unions without knowing the resistance and fight that is left in OUR retirees. you do not want to awaken the sleeping yankees. How can you imagine commanding OUR members to cut the quality of life that they have become accustom, some of them being not as fortunate as others, scraping by on what they get, to less than half of what they live on now? "Yo gotta bee's crazie mahn". Do you expect us to get jobs, menial at best, now that our best years have been spent, and in our mostly 60's, 70's, 80's years of age. "Yo gotta bee's crazie mahn". lotz of time on OUR hands, idle hands . . .

Hoffa has done nothing but sell out the members from day one. I NEVER voted for him because he was only banking on his name to get elected. What do you expect from a former corporate lawyer? He goes from fighting against workers to helping them? Ha! He has only helped himself and those who help him help himself. I'm not surprised at all by ANOTHER sell out by this clown. Federal law must be changed for this to happen. That's not much of a stretch, especially when you consider the way things work in Washington--especially with Obama selling out the entire country. I'm sure the Dumocrats wouldn't have a problem selling us out. No doubt the ones wanting this change will lobby and promise campaign contributions and then at election time the union fat cats with their protected pensions will convince the sheeple membership to vote for the same ones who just stole their pensions. It's sickening to see what's happening in the union and with the rest of the country and most are too lazy or stupid to get off their rear end to do anything about it. We ALL need to start our own lobbying effort to stop this before it gains too much ground!! Get busy people, it's YOUR life they're trying to steal.

Typical upper level executives who have "protected executive pension plans" getting together and proposing a convenient solution to their "problem". Which would be how to save face after mismanaging Teamster Pension Funds. Politicians who vote to change the laws to allow Teamsters to get a token poverty level pension at age 67 should be forced to make the same change to government pensions including their own before they are voted out of office.

    Most Teamsters are not offered a 401K plan so this change would mean they will be worse off in retirement than employees who were not even offered a pension as part of their benefit package. The middle class worker is always told to "figure out a way" while the "haves" of society are not held accountable for their poor judgement and failures. In fact the executives will probably get a bonus if they can get these new rules adopted.

It should go without saying that these pension changes to rank and file Teamsters have to be fought aggressively.

Hoffa has already sold some of us out.  I retired in 2010 after 34 years in the IBT.  I drew my retirement of 3,100.00 for only 6 months when they cut it in half.  I now only draw $1,600.00 of which $800.00 goes for insurance.  I see the IBT on the front lines in Wisconsin and other states fighting for union rights, but they haven't done anything to restore our pension. 

TP

This plan by our Union leaders & UPS to slash the Retirees pensions is dispicable an economic injustice to all of us who gave over decades of our lives to the Teamsters & UPS and other companies. We should organize & fight this effort tooth & nail taking it  alway to the US Capitol building. So let prepare tp join the effort to fight to keep from being thrown into poverty, then telling youo you can't work, & who is hiring senior citizens 60-70 yrs old & possible older. This is a disgrace. They want to change the federal laws to severely cut our hard earned pensions. Let stop & kill this effort before it gather it's wings.

<p>What happens to the guy with a 20 year pension?</p>

SAD there is no way i can go back to work for much more than min. wage. I'm mid 60's who the hell is going to hire me? worked 33.5 years to get 1210 a month???? Time to get my damn gun out. Looks like Hoffa has done what many others have tried to do before him. Break the union. Jobs being what they are right now, he has the workers sin his hand. first the retired and then he's going to get the rank and file. prepare for it. What else could a corporate lawyer wnat with the union??? he has a great pension and is set for life.

Here we go again,Hoffa is selling Teamsters out just like, Hoffa did with YRC Concessions. YRC Teamsters are still bailing out YRC,WHY??? Hoffa does nothing. YRC is spending like water, and says we are losing money,( YEA RIGHT)  LONG AS DUES MONEY COME IN HOFFA DOESN`T CARE !!!!!

 

                 TEAMSTERS SHOULD FIRE HOFFA AND HIS MERRY BAND.

I heard of Hoffa selling us out when I became a Teamster in 2010 and now I'm seeing it with my own eyes. 

 

What are some of the alternatives to this sell out plan?  

central states wants to cut our retirement by 50% +. but they are quick to tell you that you CAN NOT work at almost any job after you retire. you cut people's pay this much if they are able they will have to work to live. then that will give central states another reason to cut out your retirement. SUCKS!!!!!!!

well get ready to lose your pension. do you really think that anyone in the grov. cares about your pension. the united states grov. is the biggest union haters there is. they will let corp. and hoffa and his people change the law. to cut our pension. i have join tdu to do or write to who ever i can to stop this, but i know deep down this is one fight tdu and all its members and all retired teamster will lose. you can not beat the grov. and all the union haters out here. but if tdu has a hand in stoping this even at 65 i have no tatttoos i will get a big tdu on my chest. -ed

DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME CALLING , CENTRAL STATES FUND. MOST ON THE PHONE WILL TELL YOU THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. THATS BECAUSE SOME OF THEM ARE IN THE SAME BOAT AS WE ARE. THEY ARE KEPT IN THE DARK BY THE TEAMSTERS AND THE FUND. SO IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHATS GOING ON IF THIS IS ARE BULL S--T. GO ON LINE TO THE FUND AND ASK THEM DIRECT IF THEY ARE TRYING TO CUT EVERYONE PENSION NO MATTER IF YOU BEEN RETIRED 20 YEARS AND THEY WILL EMAIL YOU BACK YES ITS TRUE ITS FOR YOUR BEST INTREST.      sorry i just notice i used upper case letters, but i'am so mad  at these people for miss handeling the  pension fund. don't blame it on the stock market or anything else. every one knows its the fund  and the hoffa people who screw this all up.

I am a retired butcher on the west coast and heard nothing about this until I ran across an online article in April. There is a site set up by mostly UFCW people who ain't real happy. When I posted this information to the site NOBODY HEARD OF THIS. People who have contacted the union and get the run around. Now I am going to be honest in that this will hit for about $100 bucks a month because of an option to take more money up front and less when S.S. kicked at 62. People who have been retiring in the past year were not told of the possible reduction in retirement income and yep they are talking $1100 a month. So if this is going to happen shouldn't they have to re-hire those people who retired in the past year and a half. And like you guys it's bullshit [especially now] that these guys tell us where we can or can't work. I have been out passing leaflets around stores and in general these people don't believe me. This whole system is so corrupted in favor of the well off it's fucking disgusting. This is going to get sold to the public as a great idea. Tom Harkin the Dem. in charge of this won't respond to e-mails concerning this. Somehow we need to let the Democrats know that if this goes through as is, they will lose millions of votes. The Republicans don't need us to vote for them to win . All they need is for us to not vote for Dem. and just vote propositions. Excuse punctuation errors.