Western Fund: Restore the Cuts

“That fund is not 100 percent funded. When that fund gets to 100 percent based on their rules, they’ll do the right thing.”

Tom Keegel, IBT Candidates Forum, Aug. 25, 2007

“The Plan’s vested benefit liabilities are 100 percent funded.”

Memorandum to Local Union Officers from Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust
August, 2007

More than nine months ago, the Hoffa administration promised Teamsters that the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust would end the pension cuts when the fund was 100 percent funded. But the cuts continue even though the plan is 100 percent funded.

The Hoffa administration’s promise “to do the right thing” was always an empty one. Before General Secretary Treasurer Tom Keegel even made it, the WCT Pension Trust had already issued a memo to local union officers in the West that, “The Plan’s vested benefit liabilities are 100 percent funded.”

The fund issued another letter on Nov. 13, this one from employer chair Bernard T. Eilerts—reaffirming that the fund was 100 percent fully funded.

Three days later, the fund announced a change in the multiplier. But instead of restoring members’ benefits as promised, the fund raised the multiplier only slightly. The new rate was only 1.65 percent, nearly 40 percent lower than the historic minimum rate of 2.65 percent.

IBT Vice President and union trustee Randy Cammack announced at a recent Local 63 meeting that the multiplier will be increased. That’s long overdue. As a result of the cuts, the annual pension of UPS, freight and many warehousing Teamsters in the West has been reduced by more than $6,000 a year.

The UPS contract will set a new record for pension contributions into the fund. That money must be used to restore the benefits that Western Teamsters have lost and restore the multiplier.

UPS has been the number one player behind the scenes pushing Teamster pension plans to lower benefits. Before they vote on any early deal, UPS Teamsters deserve to know how much of their pension benefits will be restored and what the pension multiplier will be going forward.

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