Western Conference Fund: Pension Cuts Aren't Justified

October 18, 2006. At the Aug. 25 debate between Tom Leedham and Hoffa’s stand-in, Tom Keegel, a Teamster member questioned Keegel about the 60 percent pension accrual cuts in the big Western Conference Pension Plan. The member said the plan is 100 percent funded, with zero unfunded liability, and yet top Teamster officials go along with management on continuing the pension cuts. The member pointed out that Hoffa’s running mates sit on the fund board: Al Hobart, Chuck Mack, Jim Santangelo and Randy Cammack.

Keegel denied that the fund is 100 percent funded. But the fact is, earlier in August, the Western Fund mailed a report to all local unions which states right up top, “The Plan’s vested benefit liabilities are 100 percent funded.”

Leedham told Keegel: “I suggest that ‘Mr. Stand-in’ look at the most recent publication from the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan, which arrived in mailboxes about two weeks ago, that indicates, in black and white from the pension office itself, that the fund is 100 percent funded. Yet Teamster members are still experiencing a cut in their benefits of 60 percent. A freight Teamster has lost $500 per month from their retirement check for the rest of their life, from a fund that is 100 percent funded.

“And it goes to a different problem here, and the problem is this administration has given up control of our pension funds to greedy corporations who are extracting more money from Teamster members by way of these reduced benefits.”

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