Following the May 6 decision of the Treasury Department to reject the Central States Fund’s application for pension cuts, the Fund Trustees immediately considered a new plan for more drastic cuts and also a proposal to sue the Treasury Department.
Both ideas were rejected. Now it’s time for the Fund to join with the pension protection movement in support of more positive solutions.
Those drastic ideas were rejected at a May 10 meeting of the Fund Trustees, according to the First Quarter Independent Special Counsel’s Report.
The first presentation to the board was a new plan for pension cuts, which would have cut all retirees down to 110% of the PBGC level, which has a maximum for a 30-year age 65 retiree of $1072 per month. This even more drastic proposal was considered because Treasury’s rejection stated that the original cut plan was too optimistic in its projection.
The second presentation was to take legal action to seek to reverse Treasury’s decision to reject the plan.
The report states that “after consideration of the actuarial, legal and practical” issues, they decided they could not get the more drastic plan through the procedure quickly, and that the legal avenue would be a waste.
The fact that they even considered such an evil proposal is reason for a change in direction at the Fund.
Time to Cooperate!
The Fund leadership concluded that “the Fund should continue to cooperate with members of Congress, regulatory agencies, and interested labor unions, employers, private parties and organizations in a search for a solution” to the funding problem (page 8 of report).
We call upon the Fund trustees, Director Thomas Nyhan, and the IBT leadership to live up to these words!
Put the full resources of the Fund and the IBT to work to mobilize support for a legislative solution, based on the Keep Our Pension Promises Act or a similar bill.
Contact all retirees and active participants to ask for their support and involvement in the pension protection movement.
Make solving this pension crisis the political priority of the International union and the Fund.
The First Quarter Financial and Analytical Report indicates that the Fund made a 1.5% return on investment in the first quarter, and the fund has 58,149 active participants and 205,101 retirees and beneficiaries receiving benefits.
The First Quarter Health and Welfare Fund Report is also available.