My Central States multiemployer pension is projected to run out of money in 2025. The plan's insurer, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), will also go insolvent in 2025 unless there is federal legislation. My modest pension and the pension of 1.3 million retirees in the U.S. would be gone.
The United States Chamber of Commerce urges immediate legislative action on this crisis. On July 25 of this year, the Chamber wrote a letter to both the U.S. House and Senate signed by more than 100 employers, trades, unions and plans. It states, "In 2015, the multiemployer system paid $158 billion and $82 billion in state and local taxes, supported 13.6 million American jobs, and contributed more than $1 trillion to U.S. GDP."
Syndicated financial columnist Elliot Raphaelson stated in an August column that there are several reasons why so many plans are running into financial problems: employers going out of business, loss of union jobs, lower interest rates and stock market volatility. Raphaelson says low interest rates and a volatile stock market will continue and will also threaten single-payer pensions. More plans will depend on the PBGC guarantee. He urges immediate federal legislation and mentions the Butch Lewis Act as an option.
The Butch Lewis Act, HR397, passed the House with some bipartisan support. In the Senate, S2254 has been introduced. Thank you, Tammy Baldwin, for cosponsoring. Now is the time to make an investment when our pensions can be saved. Urge Sen. Ron Johnson at 202-224-5323 to support the Butch Lewis Act.