Time is Urgent: IBT Needs to Get Behind Pension Solution

The Central States Pension Fund is in crisis. Time is running out while Hoffa plays PR games. The Teamsters Union needs to put its muscle behind a real plan to save our pensions for retirees and working Teamsters.

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At the June 1 meeting of all Local Unions from the Central and Southern areas in Rosemont, Illinois, Central States Director Thomas Nyhan told the group that time is short, and that the Hoffa plan unveiled earlier by International VP John Murphy cannot work.

Ken Hall surprised the crowd by agreeing that the Hoffa plan will not work. Fred Zuckerman, president of Local 89 and Joint Council 94, agreed that it is urgent, but said he could not back a specific plan without seeing the details.

Joint Councils to Hoffa

Joint Councils throughout the Central and South areas are sending resolutions to Hoffa, urging him to work toward a real plan with a “likelihood of avoiding the projected insolvencies… and which do not require current benefit levels of those plans to be reduced by more than 20%.”

The resolutions appear to be aimed at telling the IBT to junk the unworkable Hoffa-Murphy PR plan and put muscle behind a real solution. And that needs to happen.

UPS has put forward a draft plan that CSPF experts say could work, to replace MPRA, and which includes cuts of up to 20%. UPS wants to avoid drastic CSPF cuts or insolvency, because the corporation must make up any losses of pension benefits for UPSers who retired after January 1, 2008.

20% Cuts?

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) supports, along with the pension protection movement, the Keep Our Pension Promises Act (KOPPA), which would save pensions by transferring liability for so-called orphan pensions to a fully-funded department of the PBGC.  KOPPA is a real solution, funded by closing corporate tax loopholes.  

We recognize that KOPPA likely cannot pass this Congress, and that compromises are necessary by those who will be making the legislative sausage.

Is a 20% cut necessary? The pension protection movement is working for a better solution.

We want to get as close to full pension protection as possible, and a stronger movement and a broader alliance mean a better chance at a good outcome. We need the full muscle of the IBT, to help build a powerful coalition of all advocates for pensions and for seniors.

Hoffa and his pension PR man, John Murphy, have promised a secret solution for nearly three years. Then they finally unveiled an unworkable plan that appears headed for the morgue.

Urgency

The clock is ticking, and not just on the seven year estimate of CSPF toward insolvency. More and more employers will be trying to pull out of the pension fund, thus weakening the fund even further.

Employers will increasingly tell working Teamsters that it makes no sense to contribute $6000-$18,000 of their deferred wages per year to a pension fund that is going insolvent--and that they would be better off in a 401K.

We stand for solidarity of active Teamsters and retired Teamsters working together to save pensions. 

The time is now. The price for failure is devastating to Teamster retirees, to Teamster power, and to America’s commitment to retirement with dignity.


Showing 10 reactions

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  • commented 2017-07-12 08:30:18 -0400
    For the first quarter of 2017 the IBT Lobby has spent $370,000.00..

    Specific lobbying issues

    Proposals to amend ERISA with respect to multi-employer pension plans
    Implementation of Multi-employer Pension Reform Act (MPRA).
    Withdrawal liability.
    Multi-employer pension plans & legacy/ orphan issues; proposed retiree benefit cuts; proposed premium increases
    Keep Our Pension Promises Act
    S. 489, Pension Accountability Act
    Multi-employer pension plans; composite plan proposals
    Funding status of multi employer pension plans
    DOL Fiduciary Rule Now when Hoffa and his NCCMP were creating MPRA he did not oppose cuts.He never came out against them until after it was put in law by fraud. So can anybody get an answer for the record from the IBT if they are lobbying FOR or AGAINST composite plans. FOR or AGAINST the Fiduciary Rule. FOR or AGAINST S. 489??
  • commented 2017-06-24 13:43:14 -0400
    If any union or Teamsters pension plan Was affected by The Wall Street Crash 2007 – 2008, due to GREEDY Banks and Wall Street gambling. The Government should sure up the Pension plans and 401 K plans, that were invested in the Wall Street gambling mess! I’m saddened to see 70 year old people working at Walmart, and other places, because they lost everything due to the banks and wall street, stealing there retirement funds. They baled out wall street! They Baled out the banks! And they helped the auto industry. How about Unions & Pension Funds. JUST SAYING. Screw the little guy, RIGHT!
  • commented 2017-06-24 12:36:31 -0400
    I am a retired Teamster with 41 years of service. The New York State Teamster Pension Fund is saying we may take a 29% cut in our pension. Could anyone making this decision take a 29% pay cut? Why would anyone want to join the union when you hear something like this?
    Still trying to be Teamster strong.
  • commented 2017-06-23 09:41:05 -0400
    While I am still gathering information on the numbers on who is carrying the burden of cuts in the New York State Plan, I did receive some new updated information that I can share. In the category of Retirees in pay status at the current time, preliminary numbers showed some 30% are facing the full cut and I can now give some more exact numbers. There are currently 15918 retirees in pay status, 4140 will face the full cut of 29%. So the alarming number of 30% is now 26% of current retirees in pay status carrying the water in the first line of cuts needed to rescue the pension plan, with 74% facing lessor cuts or no cut at all. These numbers can change almost daily as we lose retirees through attrition and others get added in when they start collecting their pension.
  • commented 2017-06-23 09:11:39 -0400
    Edward Martin, the numbers are based on information directly from the fund office and from the rescue plan application to the treasury. The regulations of MPRA are not fair and certainly appear to be a divisive tool to put one participant against another. Nobody wants a cut but if cuts are the only available solution to the problem, they need to be shared by everyone. I’m not sure of what the actual cuts would be for actives or non-actives if everyone shared in the sacrifice but it would definitely be lower than the proposed 18% cut for actives and the 29% cut for in-actives.
  • commented 2017-06-23 08:51:35 -0400
    joe rossi, if your information is corrected i am astonished!!!!!! im in upstate ny getting ready for my third cut. retired in 2013 from ups this is so unfair i know some retirees who have been collecting over 20 years not taking any cuts and believe me i dont want them to but why do i have to shoulder all the pain.
  • commented 2017-06-22 13:53:05 -0400
    The word is out, MPRA rules are forcing an unfair solution onto pension fund participants. The New York State Teamsters Pension Fund has proposed cuts along MPRA regulations. The regs state that those over 80 years old cannot be cut, that those aged 75 to 79 get smaller cuts on a sliding scale, that those on pension disability get no cut and that cuts are not allowed on participants if the cut results in a pension less than 110% of the PBGC guarantee. Seems compassionate at first glance, but what the feds and others fail to mention is that while those folks are faced with minimal if any harm, all other unprotected classes of retirees and active workers will now be forced to carry the additional burden of those who are protected. One would think, well how many could there possibly be in those protected classes anyways, what’s the big deal? How about 70% of current retirees in pay status are protected? How about 27% of actives are in a protected class? Since saving a fund requires reducing pension payouts, cutting those who are currently receiving a pension is the first step towards saving those plans and who carries the burden of those pension cuts? 30% of current retirees who are now collecting their pensions and don’t fall under any of the protected classes. 30% of retirees will carry the burden in the first step of saving the New York State Teamsters Pension Fund while 70% of current retirees get a pass. The solution needs to be fair to everyone. If a pension fund becomes insolvent, everyone is at risk of losing. Doesn’t it only make sense, if everyone is at risk with insolvency that everyone chips in to avoid insolvency? Common sense, equitable, realistic solutions are needed and MPRA doesn’t have any. Let’s get this right the first time, REPEAL AND REPLACE MPRA NOW !!!!!
  • commented 2017-06-22 11:59:44 -0400
    Lets talk screw factor.Screw Hoffa who AFTER he and his NCCMP pals defrauded the American Retirees has claimed to oppose cuts. Despite the clowns running duck and cover for Union International Leaders because the TRUTH will hurt Unions Miler and Kline DID NOT write MPRA.Hoffa and his NCCMP/Union friends did.Earl Pomeroy who told John Kline" “congratulations for your passage of the “Solutions Not Bailouts” response to the multiemployer pension crisis. It was one of the slickest pieces of legislating I’ve seen in the 18 years I was on Capitol Hill and in the years since”.See it here https://www.americanbenefitscouncil.org/pub/?id=e617b3d0-de1d-964a-21ff-1439b6b594f8 Even though in his June 2016 letter he admits the cut language in MPRA was for written for Central States Hoffa did not try to stop MPRA.Further the International Teamster Lobby spent millions to lobby for MPRA.Why would any proposals put forward by Hoffa not be tossed.
    Screw UPS and any self serving proposal from them. Are you aware the NCCMP and UPS Lawyers are one and the same.Allston-Bird LLP..Need we say more.
    Screw Nyhan. He was running the fund and the court consent docket proves it.He will endorse any plan that will give him more money to piss away. Also.Did the Central Sates Plan send NYHAN to Paris in June 2012 or Boston in 2013 to conspire with his Pension Alliance friends.Did the feds approve this as a legitimate expense in the operation of the fund..
  • commented 2017-06-22 11:56:48 -0400
    The retirees of Local 707 who are now insolvent (70% cuts!) and getting peanuts from PBGC want to know if this plan is going to help them. These retirees are suffering horribly for over a year of such drastic cuts—where is IBT for them? Never see them mention those 4,000 retirees.
  • commented 2017-06-22 11:23:19 -0400
    The first question you need to ask is why are they in such a hurry to get UPS proposal pushed through and passed? Why the big rush to get this done before the GAO investigation is not finished. UPSes only concern is to save their own funded liability. Which is in the billions of dollars. They have no care or concern for our well-being. This is purely business for them. As they have 20 lobbyist hitting the streets of Washington DC. How are they ever going to tell YRCpeople who have been taking cards for over nine years now that they’re going to cut him another 20%. And remember this is an across-the-board cut this affects everyone no matter age situation it’s going to cut your pension. This is my opinion Bob Amsden
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