IBT | We are extremely pleased to share the news that the Department of Treasury has rejected the application to cut pension benefits proposed by the Central States Fund. While this is a great victory for retirees, we still have a long fight ahead of us to ensure that retirees’ earned benefits and quality of life are protected. Both the Keep Our Pension Promises Act (KOPPA) and the Pension Accountability Act (PAA) would help secure retiree benefits but they are stalled in Congress. We need you to reach out to your Representative and Senators to ask them to support these bills and help move them through Congress. TAKE ACTION HERE!
S. 1631/ H.R. 2844, KOPPA, sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Representative Marcy Kaptur in the House of Representatives, would restore the anti-cutback rule which, until passage of the 2014 “CRomnibus,” prevented cuts from being made to accrued pension benefits. KOPPA also helps strengthen multiemployer pensions by creating a “Legacy Fund” within the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation to address the issue of underfunded “orphaned” participants. It does this by closing two tax loopholes that only benefit the wealthiest members of society. It also helps multiemployer pension plans by making pension obligations a higher priority in bankruptcy proceedings.
Other legislation to assist retirees would give plan participants a meaningful voice when plans apply to cut benefits under the current laws. S. 2147/ H.R. 4029, the Pension Accountability Act, sponsored by Senator Portman and Representatives David Joyce and Tim Ryan, would require a majority, binding vote from plan participants before any cuts may be made. Additionally, under the current framework, any unreturned ballots are counted as in favor of benefit cuts, PAA would only count those ballots that were returned adding fairness to a system which currently seems to have a deck stacked against retirees.
While we are overjoyed by the news that Central States’ application to cut the pension benefits has been rejected by the Treasury, we must still fix the funds so that retiree’s earned benefits are secure for many years to come. We urge you to email your Senators and Representative to ask them to help move S. 1631/ H.R. 2844, the Keep Our Pension Promises Act and S. 2147/ H.R. 4029, the Pension Accountability Act forward. TAKE ACTION HERE!