November 21, 2013: Growing opposition to a proposal to allow multi-employer pension plans to slash already-earned benefits has forced a delay in its introduction into Congress. That opposition needs to grow stronger, into a grassroots movement to save our pensions and develop a positive alternative plan to the cuts.
A bill was scheduled to be introduced in the US House of Representatives over a month ago to allow "deeply troubled" pension funds—such as the Central States Fund—to cut the pension benefits of retirees and those soon to retire. But opposition has slowed it, at least for now.
We're out to stop this bill to protect Teamsters and other workers who worked long and hard to earn their pensions. If they revoke the ERISA anti-cutback rule and could then cut some pensions, the door will be open to slash more pensions of Teamsters and other workers who earned a good retirement with a lifetime of honest work.
This bill has the support of employers and the Central States Pension Fund. Central States Director Thomas Nyhan was the star witness in favor of changing the law to allow pension cuts at the Congressional hearing held on October 29. He testified that Central States could become insolvent in 10-15 years.
Time for Action
Opposition to the bill, spearheaded by the Pension Rights Center, the AARP, TDU, and some unions has grown. Just hours before the October 29 hearing, Teamster president James Hoffa did a 180 and issued a letter in opposition to the proposal, calling for a movement to stop it.
This statement by Hoffa is welcome. Now is the time for Teamster locals, retiree clubs and members and retirees to get involved in building that movement.
If you want to be part of the solution, contact TDU.
What’s at Stake
Tell Congress to keep the ERISA anti-cutback rule to protect the pension you earned. Ask your representatives to support the AARP proposals. And pass on info from the TDU website to other active and retired Teamsters.
Read what Teamsters have to say in "We Earned Our Pensions."
Join the growing movement of retirees and active Teamsters who are working with the TDU Pension Action Network to protect our pensions.
Contact your Representatives
Click here to tell your Senators and Congressional Representatives to vote NO on any plan to allow earned pensions to be cut. This site, sponsored by the Machinists Union, will allow you to send an email message right away to your Senators and Reps.
Click here for a list of Congressional Reps on the Education and Workforce Committee who will take up the bill, and for how to send them a note urging a NO vote.