"I hauled cars out of Selkirk, New York for 31 years. I worked for a number of different companies – Automobile Transport, Nu-Car Carriers, Anchor Motor Freight, M&G Convoy, Leaseway, Ryder and finally, Allied. I retired in 2002.
I worked extremely hard in 35 below zero weather and 110 degrees in the shade. I went through lay offs, mergers, loss of seniority, company closings and now they want to cut my pension. That just isn’t right.
Welcome to the new U.S.A. It’s time to fight back."
January 13, 2015: The Central States Health and Welfare Fund (TeamCare) is flush with money, as Hoffa and Hall make excuses for benefit cuts that UPS Teamsters and retirees have suffered.
The latest (2nd quarter 2014) TeamCare Financial and Analytical Report shows that its reserves continued to grow at an annual rate of $326 million per year during the first half of 2014.
The report notes that UPS paid a lump sum of $1.713 billion to cover the future benefits of retirees. With that payment, UPS dumped its obligation to retirees onto Central States.
As a result of a contract concession, UPS retirees in the fund will pay higher monthly premiums for health care.
In addition to that $1.7 billion, the fund has an additional $2.2 billion in reserves, which increased by $163 million during the first half of 2014.
On March 1, 2014, some 10,000 UPS Freight Teamsters joined the fund, and some 72,000 UPS package Teamsters did so on June 1, 2014. About 9,000 Local 705 Teamsters will join TeamCare on February 1, and about 6,000 Local 710 Teamsters are expected to join soon after.
Because the report only covers until June 30, 2014, the impact of some 100,000 new participants is not detailed in the report. The third quarter report – expected soon – may be more informative.
Note: The report was submitted by the Independent Special Counsel on December 3, but the Central States Fund delayed providing it until January 12. They are bound by a court order which we won to provide the quarterly financial reports to the attorney for retirees who sued the fund.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) is the only source which makes these financial reports available to members.
January 13, 2015: A review of the 2nd quarter 2014 financial report of the Central States Pension Fund shows that the fund had $18.7 billion as of July 1, 2014.
The fund made big investment returns in the first six months of last year, netting slightly over $1 billion, as the stock market moved up. This allowed the fund to tread water: the $1 billion was just enough, along with $400 million in employer contributions and withdrawal payments, to cover $1.4 billion in benefits. The information is detailed in the quarterly Financial and Analytical Report and the Independent Special Counsel Report.
The number of working Teamster participants declined to 60,000, reflecting the Hoffa administration’s lack of commitment to defend the fund. The number of retirees was 209,000, slightly down.
The average pension paid to retirees and surviving spouses is $1,123 per month.
Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) is working to fight any pension cuts and build a movement for pension justice. Click here to find out how you can be a part of it.
Note: The report is dated December 3, 2014 but the Central States Fund delayed providing it until January 12. They are bound by a court order which we won to provide the quarterly financial reports to the attorney for retirees who sued the fund.
TDU is the only source which makes these financial reports available to members and retirees. We expect the third quarter report to issue soon.
January 9, 2015: Teamsters and retirees from across the Central States Fund and other pension funds are organizing to protect our pensions. Central States was built with pension contributions earned by our blood and sweat.
January 8, 2015: Congress approved pension cut legislation in a sneak attack amendment to the budget bill.
“Congress passed this bill but that doesn’t mean the fight is over. We’ve put Teamster pressure on the Central States in the past and we can do it again. It’s up to us to organize a political push back, too. Stopping this attack on our retirement security means getting involved NOW!”
“For the past year, we heard nothing from Hoffa and the IBT as the lobbyists, including Tom Nyhan from Central States, weaseled their way through Congress pushing for changes to allow pension cuts. Hoffa’s last minute letter was an effort to cover his behind. Hoffa and Hall are more concerned with PR than making a real fight. We desperately need change to save our union.”
January 9, 2015: Reckless Wall Street schemes tanked the economy and Teamster pension funds.
January 8, 2015: The lame duck Congress attached pension cut legislation to the end-of-year spending bill that will pave the way for the worst pension cuts in Teamster history.
Some troubled pension plans now have the authority to drastically reduce the benefits of current and future retirees — something that hasn’t happened since Congress passed legislation protecting retirement benefits 40 years ago.
The power was included in the last-minute, $1.1 trillion budget compromise signed by President Barack Obama on Dec. 16.
Click here to read more at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.