July 28, 2015: The Central States Pension Fund (CSPF) Trustees have sent a letter to the US Department of Treasury stating that they want to propose their “rescue plan” pension cuts on or about August 31.
They also state that they want to make extra-big cuts on participants who are “terminated-vested”, which means that they lost or left their Teamster jobs, and are not yet old enough to retire. If you left the pension fund when Preston or CF went down, this is you. Once they can start picking which participants to hit with bigger cuts, watch out: you could be next on their list.
They claim that it is urgent that cuts be made more quickly than the proposed regulations would allow, and – incredibly – they claim that a three month delay would cost 35,000 - 40,000 Teamsters a bigger cut by 7-10%. They want their cuts in place by March 2016.
You’ve heard that figures don’t lie but liars can figure, but this one has to win a prize in that league. First of all, who are the 35,000-40,000 (out of 400,000 participants) slated for this bigger cut? And let’s see the facts behind this nonsense. We do note that in the past six years, the fund has actually grown in assets, so how does that fact come into this tale.
We call upon Sue Mauren, the Retiree Advocate, to have her independent actuary investigate and report to Teamsters and retirees the truth behind these claims. If she can’t provide that basic information, at least have the decency to resign and let someone else do it.
On August 31, the final regulations governing the new law (MPRA) will not be issued; in fact there is a public hearing on September 10 in Washington DC on the regulations, and Teamsters and retirees will be present in force. So CSPF plans to announce cuts based on the temporary and proposed regulations.
We note also that the CSPF letter is dated July 1 but only revealed to Teamsters three weeks later, and that they retained a high-power law firm to produce it. Apparently CSPF’s several staff attorneys were too busy lobbying against the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
The movement to defend pensions is fighting back every day and on multiple fronts against this attack.