June 20, 2008: A pension attorney representing Local 804 members has warned trustees at the Local 804 Pension Fund that they are in violation of federal law for refusing to comply with members’ requests for pension information.
Under the Pension Protection Act, members have the right to more financial and actuarial information from our funds—thanks to a successful lobbying effort by Teamsters for a Democratic Union and the Pension Rights Center.
Local 804 members Bill Reynolds and Tim Sylvester have been waiting to receive the information they requested since Jan. 22. But the Fund has yet to turn over the documents or even respond to their attorney. Under the law, the Fund has 30 days to comply with their request.
The Central States Fund, the Western Conference Fund, the Upstate New York Fund, and other Teamster pension funds have all promptly complied with information requests under the Pension Protection Act.
Under the law, courts can and will assess penalties against a fund that fails to respond to members’ legitimate requests for information.
The pension fund, covering 4,000 full-time UPS Teamsters in metro New York, was rocked by a 30 percent pension cut in 2006. The pension issue led Local 804 members to reject the UPS contract last year and win a better offer that restored their pension to pre-cut levels and stopped company and union officials from eliminating 25-and-out pensions for new employees.
Trustees recently notified members that the fund is in the Yellow Zone. They have said no additional pension cuts will be necessary but have provided no information about when benefits might be improved.
Most other UPS Teamsters will get an automatic increase in their pension accrual every year during the current contract. But the accrual in Local 804 will remain frozen at the 2002 level until the trustees vote to increase it.
“Local 804 members were kept in the dark about our pension and the results were not good. Now we want to see the numbers for ourselves,” said Bill Reynolds. “Will members really have to take our own Fund to court to get the pension information we’re entitled to?”